The Opposition Presidency: Leadership and the Constraints of History / Edition 1

The Opposition Presidency: Leadership and the Constraints of History / Edition 1

by David A. Crockett
     
 

ISBN-10: 1585441570

ISBN-13: 9781585441570

Pub. Date: 09/28/2002

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press


When a president’s governing philosophy is out of step with the dominant ideology of the culture, his options for leadership are much different FROM those of a leader more in sync with the times. Such opposition leaders face distinctive challenges and opportunities for effectiveness. They should be judged by different standards, argues political scientist…  See more details below

Overview


When a president’s governing philosophy is out of step with the dominant ideology of the culture, his options for leadership are much different FROM those of a leader more in sync with the times. Such opposition leaders face distinctive challenges and opportunities for effectiveness. They should be judged by different standards, argues political scientist David Crockett.

Crockett has analyzed presidents from Whig times through the Clinton presidency to develop a model for understanding presidential success and the strategies that are appropriate to the circumstances. Focusing on the terms of TWELVE opposition presidents, Crockett details the approaches they have taken to maximize their own goals and maintain political power. He illustrates vividly how these leaders must balance personal and partisan success and he lays out the relationship between personality or character and the larger political context.

All opposition presidents face roughly the same type of leadership situation governing in an era in which they do not control the power to define politics but Crockett’s broad historical perspective demonstrates that they do not all handle this situation in the same way. Studying the presidency in such a political context enables Crockett to break free of the one-size-fits-all model of presidential leadership. Leadership strategies are contingent and context-bound, and the wise president understands the constraints history places on his leadership. In the case of opposition presidents, history demonstrates that pursuing a path of moderation is far healthier than launching a frontal assault on the governing party. It is healthier for the president and his party and healthier for the political system as a whole.

Breaking free of the standard focus on post-World War II presidencies, this historically rich, analytically sophisticated, and extremely readable volume offers challenging understandings of presidential effectiveness. Students of American politics will join scholars of the presidency in welcoming its innovative and tightly argued perspectives.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585441570
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Series:
Joseph V. Hughes Jr. and Holly O. Hughes Series on the Presidency and Leadership
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
386
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. IDemocratic Opposition and the Presidency11
Ch. 1Opposition and Political Eras13
Ch. 2The Context of Presidential Opposition34
Pt. IIAcross the Grain of History55
Ch. 3The Whig Template57
Ch. 4Andrew Johnson: The Nightmare Scenario76
Ch. 5Grover Cleveland: A Tale of Two Presidencies92
Ch. 6Woodrow Wilson: Progressive Opposition109
Ch. 7Dwight Eisenhower: The Return of Cincinnatus130
Ch. 8Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford: The Politics of Counterinsurgency151
Ch. 9Bill Clinton: The Politics of Slickness175
Pt. IIIContextual Leadership201
Ch. 10Adapting to Context203
Conclusion: Constrained Leadership239
Notes247
Bibliography267
Index277

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