Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The GateKeepers

The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple

Sue Hill

5 Stars

April 11, 2017

The success or failure of a presidency largely depends on whether or not the president is able to deliver on the agenda he or she sets upon taking office. Are they able to get things done? Can they focus and prioritize their goals so they don't waste time on something that isn't achievable or realistic (or try to do too much)? Can they maintain their public image as well as key relationships with Washington insiders? And can they do all that while running a functional office that will help them do the most important job they will ever take on?

It's not an easy job, and many seemingly qualified people have had lackluster presidencies. Chris Whipple,  journalist, makes a case that many presidencies fail because of a lack of organization within the White House itself. He posits that the Chief of Staff is perhaps the most singular and important role any president can fill once elected, because this little-understood position often pulls all the strings behind the scenes. They manage the president's schedule and staff--often acting as a gatekeeper so that the president can maintain focus among the constant noise and needs surrounding the Oval Office.

I greatly enjoyed reading this. The Gatekeepers is both a quick read and an engaging one. Whipple has an eye for detail and maintains expert control of his narrative. There's a natural flow from one administration to the next that only a gifted storyteller can achieve.

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