lay the groundwork (for something)

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lay the groundwork (for something)

To create or prepare the basics or essential foundation (for something); to pave the way (for something). Our success with this healthcare bill wouldn't be possible, had the previous administration not laid the groundwork already. As CEO of the company, I laid the groundwork for one of the most successful international firms in the country.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The ploy is partly intended to lay the groundwork for something bigger in the distant future, but its main purpose is to give Bush political cover for failing to deliver on his foolish campaign pledge.