Conservative advocacy groups have a plan to address one of the most significant areas of concern — the administrative state.
Project 2025 is an effort organized by the Heritage Foundation and includes more than 70 conservative organizations working to build a conservative victory through policy, personnel and training.
“If we are going to rescue the country from the grip of the radical Left, we need both a governing agenda and the right people in place, ready to carry this agenda out on day one of the next conservative administration,” the Project 2025’s website states. “This is the goal of the 2025 Presidential Transition Project.”
Heritage Foundation has been spreading the word about the project at the Iowa State Fair. The Iowa Standard spoke with Spencer Chretien during the fair about the project. Chretien is the associate director of the project.
“We’re getting ready the plans, the playbooks, for the next conservative President,” Chretien said. “We see the deficit that we face when it comes to serving in government. It doesn’t come naturally to us like it comes to the Left. And when you have a bureaucracy in Washington of more than 2 million full-time, non-military federal employees and you only have traditionally between 3,000-4,000 political appointees who actually can get hired and fired by the President, who serve at the pleasure of the President, that’s not a lot of people. So, we need more. We need them trained up ahead of time and we need people from outside the D.C. beltway to come to Washington in 2025. We need Iowans to sign up, come to Washington and serve the next conservative President and do battle against the administrative state.”
“If you’ve ever wondered what a conservative success looks like at the Department of Health and Human Services, or at the State Department, these chapters correspond and you will be able to see what the next President and his or her team need to be doing at these agencies,” Chretien said.
The second pillar is a Presidential Personnel Database. Individuals are welcome to create a profile, express their interest, what agencies they’re interested in and what experiences they have that they’d like to take to D.C.
A Presidential Administration Academy is the project’s third pillar. This gets individuals trained ahead of time to learn what it is like to work for the President, how to deal with the media and what the hiring process looks like. Elements include how to do your financial disclosure, get security clearance, etc.
A 180-day playbook is the fourth pillar.
“The overall mission is we need people who are politically savvy, who are committed conservatives, who are willing to work hard on behalf of the next President, and who are going to not just tinker at the edges, but actually dismantle the administrative state and return our country to the principle that the President is in charge of the executive branch,” Chretien said. “And he or she should not get resistance from his own political appointees or from the bureaucrats in the executive branch who work for the President.”
Project 2025 is not tied to any one candidate. Chretien declared Project 2025 “candidate agnostic.”
“We are building on past successes from conservative administrations as well as learning from the times when we left things on the table, learning from the disappointments, and figuring out how we can better overcome that bureaucratic resistance that any conservative President is going to face,” he said.
Dr. Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, had the vision for Project 2025. With the official presidential transition period beginning in May of an election year, more time is needed to prepare.
“That’s not enough time,” Chretien said. “You do a little bit of work in May and then after the convention in July or August you do a little more work. Then from November to January the floodgates open and it’s too much. That’s why we started this project in 2022.”
The Left is always preparing for presidential transitions, and similar infrastructure is necessary for conservatives.
Heritage Foundation was founded in 1973 to be a “battleship” for the conservative movement. It has always served as an on-ramp for personnel in conservative administrations. It’s also served as the policy think tank for the conservative world, Chretien said.
While Heritage Foundation is organizing Project 2025, it isn’t necessarily leading it. Every one of the partner organizations has a role to play and a voice in the project.
“I think people are curious about the project, but most importantly the conservative grassroots are fired up,” he said of the response from fairgoers. “(They’re fired up) to know that there is a plan. We have a plan and help is on the way. The conservative movement is united. We’ve made deconstructing the administrative state the number one issue in the election. Candidates are making that the number one issue and we are going to be ready to go.”
“We need everybody to be a part of this,” Chretien said. “This is really the American peoples’ movement to deconstruct the managerial state and return power to the people.”