Planning the Transition
On August 8, 1974, longtime friend and former law partner Philip Buchen presented Vice President Gerald R. Ford with this memorandum outlining key decisions for him to make in preparation for his assumption of the Presidency.
Buchen had been working at the White House on the Domestic Council’s Committee on Right to Privacy and for several months had believed that President Nixon was likely to resign. Unbeknownst to Ford, he had formed a secret “transition team” that had been meeting for several months. Although the team hadn’t accomplished much by the time the Vice President learned of it on August 6, its work provided a starting point for what still needed to be done.
Vice President Ford used this memo to indicate his choices for several important transition staff members. He selected Donald Rumsfeld to take the lead on White House organization, Rogers Morton to be liaison with the Cabinet, Jack Marsh to be political liaison, and Bill Scranton to assist with personnel issues. He also notted additional groups he wanted to meet with in the first week of his administration.