State University of New York Press

SUNY series on the Presidency: Contemporary Issues

John Kenneth White

Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series on the Presidency: Contemporary Issues

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George W. Bush

Evaluating the President at Midterm

Bringing together presidential scholars, leading voices on the presidency, and former White House aides, this book provides a timely and thorough assessment of George W. Bush at the historic midpoint of his presidency. The book covers Bush’s character and leadership style, domestic policy, foreign policy and the War on Terror, and the Bush administration. It concludes with a report card on the Bush presidency, whereby the President, his staff, and his legislative record are graded.

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Groupthink or Deadlock

When Do Leaders Learn from Their Advisors?

The danger of groupthink is now standard fare in leadership training programs and a widely accepted explanation, among political scientists, for policy-making fiascoes. Efforts to avoid groupthink, however, can lead to an even more serious problem—deadlock. Groupthink or Deadlock explores these dual problems in the Eisenhower and Reagan administrations and demonstrates how both presidents were capable of learning and consequently changing their policies, sometimes dramatically, but at the same time doing so in characteristically different ways. Kowert points to the need for leaders to organize their staff in a way that fits their learning and leadership style and allows them to negotiate a path between groupthink and deadlock.

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In the Public Domain

Presidents and the Challenges of Public Leadership

The “public presidency”—how presidents rely on the mass media, public opinion, and various communication strategies—has become an increasingly important aspect of presidential governance and leadership during the past two decades. In the Public Domain gathers together noted presidency and communication scholars to explore the relationship between the president and the American public, the current state of the “public presidency,” and the challenges that recent presidents have faced in developing an effective means of communicating and maintaining a strong presidential image. Specific topics include: how presidents use public leadership to pursue their policy goals and objectives; the importance of public opinion, rhetorical strategies, and public activities; external factors such as party politics and news media coverage; the cultivation of presidential legacy; and access to documents in presidential libraries.

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JFK, LBJ, and the Democratic Party

JFK, LBJ, and the Democratic Party is a richly detailed, comprehensive, and provocative account of presidential party leadership in the turbulent 1960s. Using many primary sources, including resources from presidential libraries, state and national archival material, public opinion polls, and numerous interviews, Sean J. Savage reveals for the first time the influence of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson on the chairmanship, operations, structure, and finances of the Democratic National Committee. Savage further enriches his account with telephone conversations recently released from the Kennedy and Johnson presidential libraries, along with rare photos of JFK and LBJ.

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The Obama Presidency

A Preliminary Assessment

Lively and engaging essays covering President Obama’s domestic and foreign policy, governing style, and character.

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Popular Justice

Presidential Prestige and Executive Success in the Supreme Court

Popular Justice explores the interaction between the presidency and the United States Supreme Court in the modern era. It assesses the fortunes of chief executives before the Court and makes the provocative argument that success is impacted by the degree of public prestige a president experiences while in office. Three discrete situations are quantitatively examined: cases involving the president’s formal constitutional and statutory powers, those involving federal administrative agencies, and those that decide substantive policy issues. Yates concludes that, while other factors do exert their own influence, presidential power with the Court does depend, to a surprising degree, on the executive’s current political popularity.

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