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At his inauguration, President Barack Obama was seemingly poised to become America's strongest and most influential president since Ronald Reagan. However, President Obama's first two years in office has led to some notable surprises. What accounts for the political stability and change demonstrated by the Obama administration? Which factors shaping a presidency are structural, which are personal, and which are driven by events? How will decisions made in the first two years of the administration affect its future course? What lessons can we glean from past presidencies?
This timely volume of notable thinkers on the presidency presents scholarly as well as applied insights on Obama’s administration at the half-way point. Assessing the political context of his first two years, the inter-branch relations, and policy developments all provide the necessary grounding for students to make sense of the continuity and change that Barack Obama represents.
Part One: The Setting 1. Barack Obama: A Reagan of the Left? Andrew Dowdle, Dirk C. van Raemdonck, and Robert Maranto 2. Making Race Go Away President Obama and the Promise of a Post-Racial Society Wilbur C. Rich 3. Presidential Leadership and Public Opinion in an Age of Polarization Jeffrey E. Cohen and Costas Panagopoulos Part Two: Managing the Executive Branch 4. The Obama Cabinet: A Team of Rivals or Pragmatic Governance? Shirley Anne Warshaw 5. Presidential Appointments in the Obama Administration: An Early Evaluation David E. Lewis 6. President Barack Obama, Unilateralist Christopher S. Kelley, Melanie Cook Marlowe, and Ryan J. Barilleaux 7. Continuity and Change in White House Communications: President Obama Meets the Press Martha Joynt Kumar Part Three: Managing Relations with the Other Branches 8. No Place for a Community Organizer: Barack Obama’s Leadership of Congress Justin S. Vaughn 9. Beyond Two Terms: Shaping the Supreme Court and a Legacy Richard L. Pacelle, Jr. Part Four: Managing Policies 10. Economic Policymaking During the Great Recession Ted Gayer 11. President Obama’s Health Care Reform: The Inevitable Impossible Mark Carl Rom 12. President Obama and Education: The Personal and the Political Robert Maranto and Michael Q. McShane 13. Fighting Two Wars Lawrence J. Korb and Laura Conley Part Five: At the End of the Beginning: Judging President Obama 14. Barack Obama's First Two Years: Policy Accomplishments, Political Failure William A. Galston