The Presidency in a Separated System / Edition 2

The Presidency in a Separated System / Edition 2

by Charles O. Jones
Pub. Date:
Brookings Institution Press
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The Presidency in a Separated System / Edition 2

Media coverage and popular interpretations of American government typically concentrate on the presidency. Observers often attribute the fortunes of an entire government to one person or his small circle of advisers. In an updated and revised edition of his classic book, Charles O. Jones explains how too exclusive a focus on the presidency distorts the picture of how national government really works. He explores how presidents find their place in the permanent government and how they are "fitted in" by others, most notably those on Capitol Hill. Powerful though it may be, the Oval Office is not the source of all authority in government. Jones examines the organizational, political, and procedural challenges facing presidents, as well as the role of public approval. The author compares the post-World War II presidents and identifies their strengths and weaknesses in working within a separated system of government. The new edition extends through the Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies. It explains how split-party control, differing partisan strategies, and our recent "narrow-margin politics" have changed the Washington landscape, reshaping relations among the branches of government. Once again, in this edition, the author draws several lessons for presidents working in a separated system. Most have heeded these lessons, while analysts often ignore them in favor of perpetuating unrealistic expectations of what presidents can do. "Jones has achieved a major milestone in research on the role of the president in the legislative process." –Journal of Politics "Jones has effectively and authoritatively replaced a popular view of the American presidency with a more accurate one. His argument and his evidence will enlarge and enrich our thinking about the office." –Richard F. Fenno, Jr., University of Rochester

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815747178
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 06/28/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 375
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

1.Perspectives on the Presidency1
Landslides and Presidential Power3
Pictures in Our Heads7
The Dominant Perspective9
Variations in Party Splits12
Variations in Presidential Advantages15
An Alternative Perspective17
The Politics of Partisan Variations19
Change within Administrations23
What Is to Follow24
2.Presidents and the Presidency27
How They Come to Be There28
Who They Are42
Governing Strategies48
3.Organizing to Govern in the Separated System52
The White House Staff54
Cabinet Secretaries: Reaching Within59
Organizational Experience of Modern Presidents66
Organizing and Adapting101
4.Public Standing of the President112
The Most Popular President112
Approval Ratings and the Diffusion of Responsibility115
Going Public121
The Public Standing of Modern Presidents123
Public Approval and the Work of Government145
5.Presidents, Mandates, and Agendas147
Elections and Agendas in the Constitution147
The Mandate149
Judgments about Mandates153
The Continuing Agenda164
Agenda-Related Concepts167
Modern Presidents and the Agenda171
6.Presidents and Lawmaking in a Separated System182
The Nature of Lawmaking183
Presidential Success with Congress189
Legislative Production: What Gets Done and When195
Legislative Timelines201
7.Making Laws208
Presidential Preponderance212
Congressional Preponderance222
Joint Participation238
Sequence, Iteration, and Partisanship269
8.Thinking about Change281
Principal Observations282
Reform and Change285
Lessons for Presidents294
The Presidency in a Separated System297
1-1.Split-Party Control, 1858-199413
1-2.Split-Party Control, by Historical Period, 1856-199414
2-1.Nomination Experience of Modern Presidents30
2-2.General Election Experience of Modern Presidents33
2-3.Legislative Experience of Modern Presidents45
2-4.Political Party Experience of Modern Presidents47
2-5.Advantages, Weaknesses, and Strategies of Modern Presidents48
3-1.Number of White House and Major Executive Office Staff, First Year of Administration, 1945-8955

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