The Public Interest

On task forcing

Nathan Glazer

Spring 1969

THE presidential-transition task force has had a short history of only eight years. We have it on the authority of a very high figure in the present administration that the Eisenhower administration, when it came into office, did not avail itself of this rather flexible and informal tool to help shape its program; as a result—this high figure recently reported to the assembled members of the Nixon task forces—the administration was a little slow getting off the ground. The new form owes its origin to John F. Kennedy. President Johnson organized task forces for his new administration, even before his election in 1964. President Nixon commissioned Paul McCracken to begin thinking of task forces before his election, and they were organized immediately after his election.

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