Presidential Party Building: Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush

Presidential Party Building: Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush

by Daniel J. Galvin
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0691136939

ISBN-13: 9780691136936

Pub. Date: 09/21/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Modern presidents are usually depicted as party "predators" who neglect their parties, exploit them for personal advantage, or undercut their organizational capacities. Challenging this view, Presidential Party Building demonstrates that every Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower worked to build his party into a more durable political organization

Overview

Modern presidents are usually depicted as party "predators" who neglect their parties, exploit them for personal advantage, or undercut their organizational capacities. Challenging this view, Presidential Party Building demonstrates that every Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower worked to build his party into a more durable political organization while every Democratic president refused to do the same. Yet whether they supported their party or stood in its way, each president contributed to the distinctive organizational trajectories taken by the two parties in the modern era.

Unearthing new archival evidence, Daniel Galvin reveals that Republican presidents responded to their party's minority status by building its capacities to mobilize voters, recruit candidates, train activists, provide campaign services, and raise funds. From Eisenhower's "Modern Republicanism" to Richard Nixon's "New Majority" to George W. Bush's hopes for a partisan realignment, Republican presidents saw party building as a means of forging a new political majority in their image. Though they usually met with little success, their efforts made important contributions to the GOP's cumulative organizational development. Democratic presidents, in contrast, were primarily interested in exploiting the majority they inherited, not in building a new one. Until their majority disappeared during Bill Clinton's presidency, Democratic presidents eschewed party building and expressed indifference to the long-term effects of their actions.

Bringing these dynamics into sharp relief, Presidential Party Building offers profound new insights into presidential behavior, party organizational change, and modern American political development.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691136936
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
09/21/2009
Series:
Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives Series
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Chapter 1: Introduction: A Common Half- Truth 1
Chapter 2: A Theory of Presidential Party Building 17

Part I: The Republicans
Chapter 3: Building a Modern Republican Party: Dwight D. Eisenhower 41
Chapter 4: Building the New Majority: Richard Nixon 70
Chapter 5: The Politics of Addition: Gerald R. Ford 99
Chapter 6: Building the Republican Base: Ronald Reagan 120
Chapter 7: Leveling the Playing Field: George H. W. Bush 143

Part II: The Democrats
Chapter 8: Operation Support: John F. Kennedy 163
Chapter 9: The President's Club: Lyndon B. Johnson 182
Chapter 10: Alternative Priorities: Jimmy Carter 204
Chapter 11: Culmination and Reversal: Bill Clinton 225
Chapter 12: Conclusion: Presidents, Parties, and the Political System 247

Afterword: George W. Bush and Beyond 255
Appendix: Methods and Sources 263
Abbreviations 267
Notes 269
Index 329

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >