How the search for power defines the American presidential office All American presidents, past and present, have cared deeply about power—acquiring, protecting, and expanding it. While individual presidents obviously have other concerns, such as shaping policy or building a legacy, the primacy of power considerations—exacerbated by expectations of the presidency and the inadequacy of explicit powers in the Constitution—sets presidents apart from other political actors. Thinking about the Presidency explores presidents' preoccupation with power. Distinguished presidential scholar William Howell looks at the key aspects of executive power—political and constitutional origins, philosophical underpinnings, manifestations in contemporary political life, implications for political reform, and looming influences over the standards to which we hold those individuals elected to America's highest office. Howell shows that an appetite for power may not inform the original motivations of those who seek to become president. Rather, this need is built into the office of the presidency itself—and quickly takes hold of whoever bears the title of Chief Executive. In order to understand the modern presidency, and the degrees to which a president succeeds or fails, the acquisition, protection, and expansion of power in a president's political life must be recognized—in policy tools and legislative strategies, the posture taken before the American public, and the disregard shown to those who would counsel modesty and deference within the White House. Thinking about the Presidency assesses how the search for and defense of presidential powers informs nearly every decision made by the leader of the nation. In a new preface, Howell reflects on presidential power during the presidency of Barack Obama.
The Bush years have given rise to fears of a resurgent Imperial Presidency, but the problem cannot be solved simply by bringing a new administration to power. Both Left and Right agree on the boundless nature of presidential responsibility. For both sides, it is the president's job to grow the economy, teach our children well, save us from hurricanes, and even to spread democracy abroad. In short, the Imperial Presidency is the price we pay for making the office the focus of our national hopes and dreams. Combining historical scholarship, legal analysis, and cultural commentary, The Cult of the Presidency argues that the presidency needs to be reined in, with its powers checked by Congress and the courts. Only then will we begin to return the presidency to its proper constitutional role.
In The Presidency Then and Now, leading political scientists and historians assess the development of the presidency and its role in today's political landscape. The questions addressed in this wide-ranging volume include: How has the doctrine of separation of powers evolved? How have presidential campaigns and presidential oratory influenced the constitutional character of the institution? How does the scandal-driven press coverage of the post-Vietnam and post-Watergate presidency compare with the partisan press of the early republic? Among other topics, the contributors examine the early precedents and modern manifestations of the executive veto, executive privilege, and presidential use of force doctrine, and chart the shift from a constitutionally circumspect and constrained chief executive toward the modern notion of a plebiscitary presidency. The Presidency Then and Now assesses several key trends in presidential leadership including the recent movement toward a policy-centered presidency in which detailed policy development has at times supplanted broad vision and historically informed judgment. Other essays address such topics as the transformation of the Cabinet from a body whose members possessed stature equal to the president to a largely symbolic group that has been replaced in its advisory capacity by the White House staff. The Presidency Then and Now makes a case for returning to constitutional, reasoned deliberation and replacing modern fixation on 'celebrity' status with the founders' notion of 'stature.' By drawing comparisons between the old and the new, The Presidency Then and Now offers timely and incisive insights that will appeal not only to scholars of the presidency but to historians and general readers interested in the constitutional foundations, philosophical debates, and key political developments that have affected the presidential office over time.
Popular interpretations of American government tend to center on the presidency. Successes and failures of government are often attributed to presidents themselves. But, though the White House stands as a powerful symbol of government, the United States has a separated system intentionally designed to distribute power, not to concentrate it. Charles O. Jones explains that focusing exclusively on the presidency can lead to a seriously distorted picture of how the national government works. The role of the president varies widely, depending on his resources, advantages, and strategic position. Public expectations often far exceed the president's personal, political, institutional, or constitutional capacities for achievement. Jones explores how presidents find their place in the permanent government and how they are "fitted in" by others, most notably those on Capitol Hill. This book shows how a separated system of government works under the circumstances created by the Constitution and encouraged by a two-party system. Jones examines the organizational challenges facing presidents, their public standing and what it means, presidential agendas and mandates, and lawmaking—how it works, where the president fits in, and how it varies from issue to issue. He compares the post-World War II presidents and identifies the strengths and weaknesses of each in working within the separated system. Jones proposes a view of government as a legitimate, even productive, form of decisionmaking and emphasizes the varying strategies available to presidents for governing. He concludes with a number of important lessons for presidents and advice on how to make the separated system work better.
The presidency of Bill Clinton has an intrinsic historical significance: a marker of generational change, as he was the first 'baby boomer' to reach the White House; the first president whose personal life received no less attention than his policies; and the first elected Democrat President to win re-election since Franklin Roosevelt. This book provides wide-ranging coverage of Clinton's career, addressing the salient aspects of Clinton's life in politics: his governorship; the 1992 presidential campaign; the battle for health care reform; his economic policies; the issue of character, including the Monica Lewinsky scandal; his foreign policy - specifically his role in the peace process in Northern Ireland and in authorizing an aerial war in Kosovo; his handling of the issue of gay rights; and his relationship with the Hollywood film industry. Based on the latest research, this volume provides important new perspectives on Clinton's life in politics. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in American History, Politics and International Relations.
An original and engaging account of the Obama years from a group of leading political historians Barack Obama's election as the first African American president seemed to usher in a new era, and he took office in 2009 with great expectations. But by his second term, Republicans controlled Congress, and, after the 2016 presidential election, Obama's legacy and the health of the Democratic Party itself appeared in doubt. In The Presidency of Barack Obama, Julian Zelizer gathers leading American historians to put President Obama and his administration into political and historical context. These writers offer strikingly original assessments of the big issues that shaped the Obama years, including the conservative backlash, race, the financial crisis, health care, crime, drugs, counterterrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan, the environment, immigration, education, gay rights, and urban policy. Together, these essays suggest that Obama's central paradox is that, despite effective policymaking, he failed to receive credit for his many achievements and wasn't a party builder. Provocatively, they ask why Obama didn't unite Democrats and progressive activists to fight the conservative counter-tide as it grew stronger. Engaging and deeply informed, The Presidency of Barack Obama is a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand Obama and the uncertain aftermath of his presidency. Contributors include Sarah Coleman, Jacob Dlamini, Gary Gerstle, Risa Goluboff, Meg Jacobs, Peniel Joseph, Michael Kazin, Matthew Lassiter, Kathryn Olmsted, Eric Rauchway, Richard Schragger, Paul Starr, Timothy Stewart-Winter, Thomas Sugrue, Jeremi Suri, Julian Zelizer, and Jonathan Zimmerman.
The most up-to-date coverage and analysis of the presidency Never losing sight of the foundations of the political office, The Politics of the Presidencymaintains a balance between historical context and contemporary scholarship on the executive branch, providing a solid foundation for any presidency course. In the highly anticipated Tenth Editionof this bestseller, Pika, Maltese, and Rudalevige thoroughly analyze the change and continuity in the presidency during President Trump′s first term, his relations with Congress and the judiciary, the outcomes of the 2018 midterm election, and the competitive setting for the 2020 presidential race.
This resource uses primary documents and contextualizing essays to illuminate how America's presidents have responded to major tests of their leadership and approached their role and responsibilities in times of national crisis. • Provides readers with an understanding of the dynamics that shaped presidential responses to crises and disasters in American history • Allows readers to hear directly from presidents during times of national crisis, uncertainty, and mourning through primary documents • Provides important information about the circumstances and settings in which the presidents made their statements to the American people (and the wider world) in contextual headnotes for each primary source • Contextualizes the extent and limits of presidential authority and influence in times of national crisis, scandal, disaster, or tragedy in introductory essays from the author
Lincoln Symposium (2001, Lincoln Memorial University)
This work provides a concise, authoritative, and illuminating overview of the Office of the Presidency. This reference work surveys and explains all aspects of the Presidency, including the Founding Fathers' conception of the position, the evolution of the specific powers and responsibilities residing in the Oval Office over time, the relationship between the executive branch and the other two branches of the federal government, and the evolution of presidential election campaigns in U.S. history. It also discusses major historical events and controversies surrounding the Presidency and explains how the party affiliation of the president often colors White House priorities, policies, and attitudes of governance. This book is part of ABC-CLIO's Student Guides to American Government and Politics series. Each volume in the series provides an accessible and authoritative introduction to a distinct component of American governmental institutions and processes and shows how it pertains to America's current political climate and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Provides an accessible, authoritative overview of the powers of the presidency and how they have been wielded over the course of U.S. history Explains how the executive branch interacts with the judicial and legislative branches of the federal government Includes a chronology of important events and developments in the history of the presidency Provides a bibliography of valuable and student-friendly resources for further study
A study of the relationship between the presidential power in Mexico and of key societal groups. This text examines how this has developed since the 1960s. Other titles in this series include "Gender, Culture and Empire," "Black Writers From South Africa" and "Kabuki in Modern Japan."
In this interpretation of the McKinley presidency Lewis L. Gould contends that William McKinley was the first modern president. Making use of extensive original research in manuscript collections in the United States, Great Britain, and France, Gould argues that during McKinley's four and a half years in the White House the executive office began to resemble the institution as the twentieth century would know it. He rejects the erroneous stereotypes that have long obscured McKinley's historical significance: McKinley as the compliant agent of Mark Hanna or as an irresolute executive in the Cuban crisis that led to war with Spain. He contends that McKinley is an important figure in the history of the United States because of the large contributions he made to the strengthening and broadening of the power of the chief executive. While this volume touches on many aspects of McKinley's leadership, the core of it relates to the coming of the Spanish-American War, the president's conduct of the war itself, and the emergence of an American empire from 1898 to 1900. According to Gould, the Spanish-American War was not the result presidential weakness or of cowardice before public hysteria. McKinley sought to persuade Spain to relinquish Cuba peacefully, turning to war only when it became apparent that Madrid would never acquiesce. During the war, McKinley effectively directed the American military effort and the diplomacy that brought territorial acquisitions and peace. The process of making peace with Spain—involving, as it did, American annexation of the Philippines—and of securing the ratification of the resulting treaty in the Senate underscored McKinley's expansive view of presidential power. He functioned as chief diplomat, from the sending of senators on the peace commission to the personal supervision of the terms of the negotiation. At home he made tours of the West and South in 1898 to lead popular opinion to his position as no president had done before him. For the Senate he evidenced a readiness to dispense patronage, woo votes with personal persuasion, and marshal the resources of the political system behind his treaty. Later episodes in McKinley's administration support Gould's thesis. In administering Puerto Rico and Cuba and in suppressing an insurrection in the Philippines, McKinley relied further on the war power and continued to shape affairs from the White House. He sent troops to china during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 without congressional authorization, governed the new possessions through presidential commissions, and allowed Capitol Hill only a subsidiary role in the process. By 1901 the nation had an empire and a president whose manner and bearing anticipated the imperial executives of six decades later. Gould does not argue that McKinley was a great president. He maintains, instead, that what McKinley contributed to the office, the examples he offered and the precedents he set make him an important figure in the emergence of the modern presidency in this century.
Millions of Americans—including many experienced politicians—viewed Barack Obama through a prism of high expectations, based on a belief in the power of presidential persuasion. Yet many who were inspired by candidate Obama were disappointed in what he was able to accomplish once in the White House. They could not understand why he often was unable to leverage his position and political skills to move the public and Congress to support his initiatives. Predicting the Presidency explains why Obama had such difficulty bringing about the change he promised, and challenges the conventional wisdom about presidential leadership. In this incisive book, George Edwards shows how we can ask a few fundamental questions about the context of a presidency—the president's strategic position or opportunity structure—and use the answers to predict a president's success in winning support for his initiatives. If presidential success is largely determined by a president's strategic position, what role does persuasion play? Almost every president finds that a significant segment of the public and his fellow partisans in Congress are predisposed to follow his lead. Others may support the White House out of self-interest. Edwards explores the possibilities of the president exploiting such support, providing a more realistic view of the potential of presidential persuasion. Written by a leading presidential scholar, Predicting the Presidency sheds new light on the limitations and opportunities of presidential leadership.
This work is the first systematic study of the presidency of the European Commission. Drawing upon cases of attempted leadership by Jacques Delors, the Commission President from 1985-95, it examines the leadership capacity of the office-holder. This points to the inherently shared and contingent nature of Commission President's leadership in a Union where the leadership sources are widely dispersed. While this is essentially an empirical study, Endo addresses some of the theoretical implications of its findings and resulting issues.