Office of the President-Elect

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Office of the President-Elect
Formation Functioning periodically since 1968, title first used in 2008
Legal status Temporary, established by P.L. 88-277, 100-398, 106-293
Purpose To provide for a smooth Presidential transition
Current President-Elect of the United States
None; most recently Barack Obama
Parent organization
File:20081219 avail jobs (12 of 16).jpg
During the transition period, Obama spoke from a lectern bearing the inscription "Office of the President Elect"

The Office of the President-Elect was a title used by Barack Obama for the body coordinating his transition activities of the President-elect of the United States. The office is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, nor is it a statutory office of the federal government;[1] however, under the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (P.L. 88-277),[2] amended by the Presidential Transitions Effectiveness Act of 1998 (P.L. 100-398) [3] and the Presidential Transition Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-293),[4][5] the President-Elect is entitled to request and receive certain privileges from the General Services Administration as they prepare to assume office.

Presidential Transition Act

Section 3 of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 was enacted to help smooth transitions between incoming and outgoing presidential administrations. To that end, provisions such as office space, payment of transition staff members, postal services, and telecommunication services are allotted, upon request, to the President-Elect, though the Act grants the President-elect no official powers and makes no mention of an "Office of the President-Elect."[2]

Media discussion

In 2008, President-elect Barack Obama gave numerous speeches and press conferences in front of a placard emblazoned with "Office of the President Elect"[6] and used the same term on his website.[7] British journalist Tony Allen-Mills disputed the office as "a bogus concoction that has no basis in the U.S. Constitution."[8]

2012 Romney site

On the night of the 2012 election, a transition website for presidential candidate Mitt Romney, intended to be put into place in the event that the candidate defeated President Obama's re-election, used the term "Office of the President-Elect" in its header, with a different seal emblem than the one used by Obama's Office of the President-Elect. The site was taken down from the Internet shortly after being discovered.[9]


  1. "Despite Bells and Whistles, 'Office of President-Elect' Holds No Authority". Fox News. 2008-11-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Presidential Transition Act of 1963". Retrieved 2008-11-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The Presidential Transitions Effectiveness Act of 1998". Retrieved 2008-11-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Presidential Transition Act of 2000". Retrieved 2008-11-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "S. 2705". Archived from the original on 2008-08-03. Retrieved 2008-10-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Stanley, Alessandra (2008-11-08). "Donning the Presidential Mantle to Brave a Storm of Questions on the Economy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. AllenMills, Tony (2008-11-30). "In with a bang Obama dismays the faithful". The Times. London. Retrieved 2010-05-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Goddard, Taegan (2012-11-07). "Romney's Transition Site". Political Wire. Archived from the original on 2014-07-10. Retrieved 2015-02-12. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>