Good that this has been made clear, from Fox News. Despite Bells and Whistles, ‘Office of President-Elect’ Holds No Authority. “The props that decorate the stage for the Office of the President-elect serve as just that, since Barack Obama will hold no actual authority in the Executive Branch until Jan. 20.”
President-elect Barack Obama is looking very presidential these days. When he makes an announcement, he is ringed by American flags and stands behind a lectern that has a very presidential-looking placard announcing “The Office of the President-Elect.”
But the props are merely that. Under the Constitution, there is no such thing as the Office of the President-elect. Technically, Obama will not even become the president-elect until the Electoral College convenes after the second Wednesday in December and elects him based on the results of the Nov. 4 general election, as stated in the Constitution.
That Obama benefts from the The Presidential Transition Act of 1963, ultimately benefits the country. He and his assistants and advisers are able to facilitate the transition of the presidential office from now until the inauguration. This helps to smooth things out as the outgoing governing team hands over the reins to the incoming governing team.
It is a time and money consuming process that requires many to make it happen. Apparently Obama has over 500 people allocated to this endeavor. And it costs the American taxpayer a healthy chunk of cash too. It is however, an integral part of the transition process.
His transition team has received a budget of $12 million — $5.2 million of which was allocated by Congress, and the rest from private donations of under $5,000.
As president-elect, Obama is also given the same highly classified intelligence briefings that President Bush receives on a daily basis.
Notwithstanding, the most noticeable aspect of this “office” is the part Obama has mentioned only once.
But the “Office of the President-Elect,” while critical in building the future government, has no official power — which Obama himself acknowledged during his victory speech in Chicago on Election Night.
Someone needs to remind Obama that his penchant for labels, logos, and signs, particularly those that do not hold official power, would best be left in the ego drawer at home.