Agenda 2008

Agenda_2008_DavisIn January 2007, the Center launched Agenda 2008 to help prepare the new President to confront the critical issues facing the country.

Agenda_2008_WalkerThe centerpiece of Agenda 2008, A Call to Greatness: Challenging Our Next President, draws from history to identify the characteristics and strategies needed for the next President to succeed. Published in January 2008, this unique book was distributed to all major Presidential candidates and key Members of Congress.

Through a series of focused discussions among leading policymakers, academics, and business leaders, the Center began identifying breakthrough policy options that could gain bipartisan support and meet the critical challenges facing the nation. The results of these discussions are regularly shared with the Administration, Congressional leaders, other public policy organizations, the media and the public.

Agenda 2008 culminated in the Strengthening America's Future Initiative (SAFI), a comprehensive assessment of our strengths, weaknesses and critical vulnerabilities. It also included a strategic framework outlining the leadership and specific recommendations needed to confront the nation's challenges. This effort followed the framework of President Eisenhower's Solarium Exercise, which developed policies and created the institutions that won the Cold War. SAFI's preliminary recommendations were presented to the President, Congress and the American people on March 20, 2009.

Discussion On Presidential Organization for Effective Leadership

As part of Agenda 2008, on February 20, 2008, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress hosted a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, to focus attention on the upcoming Presidential election and the need for inclusive leadership and strategic organization for effective governing. Following the model set by former Senators David Boren and Sam Nunn during their January 2008 forum on bipartisanship at University of Oklahoma, the Center's panel addressed the current landscape and asked the question: "Can the next President rise above partisan posturing and organize for effective leadership?" Moderated by Center President David M. Abshire, the panel featured: The Honorable Bill Brock, former Senator and Chairman of the Republican National Committee; Norman Ornstein, Ph.D., Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; and The Honorable Leon Panetta, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton.
View the February 20, 2008, discussion


CSPC is uniquely qualified to marshal the expertise required to create transformational change on critical national issues. The Center demonstrated this in 2000 by providing groundbreaking publications to assist in the Presidential transition.

Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Presidency: Seventy-Six Case Studies in Presidential Leadership was prepared for the two 2000 Presidential candidates. It includes an analysis of the first 100 days of all Presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton. During the transition, George W. Bush's transition team contacted the Center for additional copies and assistance.

Comprehensive Strategic Reform was drafted and shared with the Vice President, Secretary of State, and the National Security Advisor. This call for a post-Cold War net assessment was in publication on 9/11 and reflects the challenges of the new war on terror.

In Harm's Way: Intervention and Prevention summarizes the growing number and complexity of threats to U.S. security and provides checklists used by past Presidents in their decisions over the necessity of an intervention.

Dialogues on Presidential Leadership: The President, Congress and the Media includes a discussion between Senators John Breaux and Chuck Hagel and presentations by David Gergen, James Schlesinger, Eleanor Clift, Michael Barone and William Brock, with recommendations to the President-elect on his relations with Congress and the media.

Advancing Innovation: Improving the S&T Advisory Structure and Process stresses the urgency of appointing a Presidential Science Advisor and gaining sustained corporate and Congressional support for basic science research.

Forward Strategic Empowerment captures the benefits of synergizing the planning and actions of the State Department, regional Commanders-in-Chief, and key U.S. agencies.

The Southern Cone, a briefing paper prepared by Ambassador Richard McCormack and widely circulated among White House, State Department, and Treasury Department officials, encouraged the Executive Branch to better marshal national resources to deal with increasingly complex financial contingencies in Latin America and around the globe.