AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Dick Kirschten

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The ”A” word is in

March 1, 2001 The "A" word-"accountability"-is a favorite in President Bush's vocabulary. resident George W. Bush wants the federal government to stop being a "nanny" who tells people exactly how to do things and focus its attention instead on results. The "A" word-"accountability"-is a favorite in the new President's vocabulary and key to...

An Uncommon Challenge

February 1, 2001 onscious of his fragile electoral mandate, President George W. Bush arrived in Washington singing the praises of bipartisan cooperation and exhibiting a Clintonesque passion for ethnic and gender diversity in his initial choices of Cabinet officials and top White House aides. The symbolism of Bush's early actions matched the gracious...

A System Under Stress

January 1, 2001 o most observers overseas-not to mention those here at home-America's democratic system must have seemed totally chaotic during the long and litigious weeks following November's presidential election. First, there was the disconcerting prospect of having the candidate with the most votes end up the loser. While Democrat Al Gore held...

Audition Time

December 1, 2000 mericans have always taken pride in peacefully transferring power from one administration to another. But this year, the transition got off to a rocky start with lawyers and elections officials struggling to figure out just who won the presidential election. Indeed, the virtual dead heat between Texas Gov. George Bush...

Political World

Politician, Heal Thyself

A new study of reform efforts argues that government's shortcomings aren't so much managerial as they are political.

November 1, 2000 ike a brisk autumn breeze, the election of a new President is always hailed in Washington as a time for a fresh start and a golden opportunity, at long last, to reform the federal bureaucracy. Indeed, there's no safer or more reliable issue upon which candidates of both major parties...

Business and Government

October 1, 2000 letters@govexec.com hen Calvin Coolidge declared 75 years ago that "the business of America is business," he could scarcely have dreamed how pervasive the role of corporate money would become in electing future Presidents. This year's White House race will shatter all previous campaign spending records. The vast bulk of the...

Selling Government Short

September 1, 2000 dkirschten@govexec.com abor Day, once the formal kickoff date for the fall presidential campaigns, is now just another milestone in a marketing process that provides full-time employment for politicians, pollsters, consultants, fund-raisers and members of the media who write about them. "For most of American history, campaigns generally were confined to...

Gore In Charge

August 1, 2000 letters@govexec.com rom birth, Al Gore has been steeped in politics. For the first 22 years of his life, his father sat in Congress, and for the past 23 and a half years, Gore has divided his time between the House, the Senate and the vice presidency. In Los Angeles this...

Choose Your Target

August 1, 2000 dkirschten@govexec.com n the never-never land of government outsourcing, accountability is the first victim when scandal rears its ugly head. The uproar over security lapses at the Energy Department's Los Alamos National Laboratory offers a textbook example of how politicians pick and choose their scapegoats when management responsibilities are delegated to...

Bush as Boss

July 1, 2000 dkirschten@govexec.com hen George W. Bush took office as governor of Texas in January 1995, he was flush from lucrative business ventures in oil and Major League Baseball and armed with a Harvard M.B.A. Having pledged to "bring a conservative, business approach to state government," he sought advice from close associates...

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