Transition of Power: The Presidency

Synopsis: A behind the scenes look of how the American Presidency is peacefully transferred from one person to another on Inauguration Day.
120 min

There is

a tradition in this country--

in fact, one of the prides

of this country

is the peaceful transition

of power.

Do you make the same commitment

that you will absolutely accept

the result of this election?

I will tell you at the time.

I'll keep you in suspense.

For the first time

in modern presidential history,

a candidate

in a national debate

challenges the peaceful

transfer of power,

a pillar of democracy

that's sustained

for more than 200 years.

So help me God.

Through crisis...


MAN (over radio):

The president is dead.


What's the matter

with these clowns?

...peace, and war,

what does it take to hand off

the most powerful office

in the world?

This is the secret history

of the transition of power.


I do solemnly swear...

...that I will

faithfully execute the office

of President

of the United States...


protect, and defend...


So help me God.

(cheers and applause)

The United States created

the very notion

of the peaceful

transition of power.

This is a concept

that was nonexistent

on the planet Earth

before Washington

transferred power to John Adams

in the latter part

of the 18th century.

Before that, the world was

made up, principally,

of monarchies,

where kings and queens

only relinquished power

through death

or more sinister forces.

The idea that someone would

voluntarily relinquish power

and hand it off

to another person was

actually a really radical

experiment in governance.

But here we are

doing it systemically.

There are no daggers

to the hearts,

no tanks in the streets.

It's an incredible thing

even today we take for granted.

(trumpet fanfare)

The President

of the United States.

The American

presidency begins with an oath

to preserve, protect,

and defend the Constitution.

-I, Franklin Delano Roosevelt... solemnly swear...


35 words that make you

the most powerful executive

in the world.

...that I will faithfully


...the office of

President of the United States.

No other job has the danger,

the influence,

the power, the potential

for a terrible tragedy

that the presidency has,

which makes the transition

of power

such a critical process.

So critical that

the transition gets underway

long before America chooses

its next leader.

(bell tolling)

(triumphant music playing,

cheers and applause)

I accept your nomination.

...for the presidency

of the United States.


The political conventions

signal the opening

of the general election season.

The presidential transition


just as the real battle

for the White House kicks off.

You're not up to doing the job.

She should not

be allowed to run.

While the campaign

rhetoric intensifies...

He'd rather have a puppet as

president of the United States.

No puppet.

No puppet.

The rival candidates

must each prepare

for what will happen

if they win.


One might think that

the presidential transition


and the actual transfer of power

is kind of

being put together

after the election.

It actually occurs as soon as

the nomination conventions

are over.


When Lincoln became president,

it was Lincoln

and a couple of secretaries,

and that was it.

Nowadays, transitions involve

thousands of people.

And so it's almost like

the creation

of a government anew.

And it's a huge job.

The government

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Transition of Power: The Presidency" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 May 2020. <>.

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