The Paradoxes of the American Presidency

Paperback | December 28, 2012

byThomas E. Cronin, Michael A. Genovese

not yet rated|write a review
In The Paradoxes of the American Presidency, two highly esteemed presidential scholars, Thomas E. Cronin and Michael A. Genovese, explore the complex institution of the American presidency by presenting a series of paradoxes that shape and define the office. Revised and updated to reflectrecent political events - including the controversial and consequential presidency of George W. Bush, the vice presidency of Dick Cheney, the presidency of Barack Obama, and the 2010 and 2012 elections - the fourth edition incorporates findings from the latest scholarship, the most recent electionsand court cases, and relevant survey research.

Pricing and Purchase Info


Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

In The Paradoxes of the American Presidency, two highly esteemed presidential scholars, Thomas E. Cronin and Michael A. Genovese, explore the complex institution of the American presidency by presenting a series of paradoxes that shape and define the office. Revised and updated to reflectrecent political events - including the controve...

Thomas E. Cronin is McHugh Professor of American Institutions and Leadership at Colorado College and President Emeritus at Whitman College. He is the author of more than 150 articles and author, coauthor, or editor of a dozen books, including On the Presidency (2008). Michael A. Genovese is the Loyola Chair of Leadership Studies, Prof...

other books by Thomas E. Cronin

Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox
Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox

Paperback|Apr 1 2012

$40.74 online$41.90list price
see all books by Thomas E. Cronin
Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:December 28, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199861048

ISBN - 13:9780199861040

Look for similar items by category:


Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface1. Presidential Paradoxes?Paradox #1Americans want decisive leadership, yet we distrust authority and fear the abuse of power.Paradox #2We yearn for the democratic "common person" who also has an uncommon genius, charisma, and star quality.Paradox #3We want a decent, caring, and compassionate president, yet we admire a cunning, guileful, and, on occasions that warrant it, even a ruthless, manipulative president.Paradox #4We admire an "above politics," nonpartisan, bipartisan, or "postpartisan" style of leadership, and yet the presidency is perhaps the most political office in the American political system: it requires an entrepreneurial master politician. Similarly, we want presidents who can both unify us and makethe necessary bold and unpopular decisions that are likely to upset us.Paradox #5We want our presidents to provide visionary, innovative, programmatic leadership and at the same time to respond pragmatically to the will of public opinion majorities; that is, presidents must lead and follow, educate and listen.Paradox #6Americans want resolute, self-confident presidential leadership. Yet we are inherently suspicious of leaders who are arrogant, above criticism, and unwilling to learn from mistakes. We want presidents, in other words, with strong but not swollen egos.Paradox #7What and who it takes to become president may not be what and who are needed to govern the nation.Paradox #8Presidents are order affirming, order shattering, and order creating.Paradox #9Rich states in presidential elections tend to vote for the Democratic candidate, while poor states tend to vote Republican, yet rich voters generally vote Republican and have done so for decades.Conclusion2. How We Evaluate Presidents?What the Framers Expected?What Was Expected in the Nineteenth Century?Public Expectations toward Presidents in Recent TimesQualities Americans Look For in PresidentsLeadership the Public WantsHow Americans Judge Incumbent PresidentsWhy Disapproval Ratings RiseWhat Can a President Do?How the Public Judges PresidentsHow Experts Judge PresidentsCan We Predict Presidential Effectiveness?What Is Presidential Greatness?ConclusionFor DiscussionDebate Questions3. How We Elect Presidents?Who Becomes President?Why Voters Vote the Way They DoThe Invisible PrimaryPresidential PrimariesCaucusesNational ConventionsIncumbency: Advantage or Disadvantage?Incumbency and the Obama Presidency: Lame Duck, Sitting Duck, or Dead Duck?General Elections: What Matters?The Electoral College DebateHow the Electoral College Works TodayThe Case for Retaining the Electoral CollegeThe Case against the Electoral CollegeThe Case for the Direct Election of PresidentsFrom Election to GoverningConclusionFor DiscussionDebate Questions4. Presidential Power and Leadership?The Moods and Cycles of American PoliticsThe Vagaries of Presidential PowerUnresolved QuestionsPersuasion and PowerPower-Maximizing StrategiesPresidential LeadershipThe Building Blocks of Presidential Leadership- Vision- Skill- Political TimingThe "Conditions" of PowerAre We Too Presidency-Centric?ConclusionFor DiscussionDebate Questions5. Presidents in a System of Shared Powers?The Presidency as Defined and Debated in 1787The Presidency as Redefined by Washington and His SuccessorsThe Presidency as Redefined by FDR and the Modern PresidentsThe Job of the Modern PresidentThe Foreign Affairs PresidencyThe Economic PresidencyThe Domestic PresidencyThe Multidimensional PresidencyCrisis ManagementSymbolic, Morale-Building, and Shamanistic LeadershipVision, Priority Setting, and Program DesignRecruitment LeadershipLegislative and Political Coalition BuildingPolicy Implementation and EvaluationOversight and Early-Warning SystemConclusionFor DiscussionDebate Questions6. Presidents and Congress?Separate Institutions/Shared PowersThe President's Constitutional PlaceThe Politics of Shared PowerThe President in the Legislative ArenaParties and Presidents: An Awkward AllianceThe "No Party" PresidencyPresidents and Use of Party Appeal in CongressThe Presidential VetoPresidents and Congress in Foreign AffairsBush, the Congress, and IraqThe "Imperial Presidency" ArgumentPresidential War-Making Powers Before 1974The Continuing Debate over War PowersConfirmation PoliticsFusing What the Framers SeparatedThe Continuing StruggleFor DiscussionDebate Questions7. Presidents as Chief Executives: Challenges and Resources?Presidents and the CabinetSelecting Cabinet AdvisersThe Job of a Cabinet MemberThe West Wing Wants Loyalty along with CompetenceThe Role of the Cabinet in PolicymakingA Cabinet of UnequalsThe Inner CabinetA National Security CabinetAttorneys GeneralTreasury SecretaryThe Outer CabinetOuter-Cabinet IsolationThe Rise of the Administrative PresidencyThe Executive Office of the President, ContinuedThe President's SpouseThe White House StaffWhite House Chief of StaffNational Security AdviserThe Chief White House Political CounselorWhite House Press SecretaryAdvocacy ConflictsDealing with the BureaucracyConclusionFor DiscussionDebate Questions8. The American Vice Presidency?Traditional ProblemsPresident of the SenateVice Presidents as "Assistant Presidents"Psychological Problems or the "Throttlebottom Complex"The Mondale ExperienceThe George H. W. Bush ExperienceThe Gore ExperienceThe Dick Cheney Vice PresidencyThe Biden Vice PresidencySelectionSuccessionConclusionFor DiscussionDebate Questions9. Presidents and the Court?Presidential Nominations to the CourtConfirmation BattlesWayward JusticesThe Temptation to Move beyond The LawThe President's Emergency PowerPresidential Action in Times of Emergency Court Decisions and Presidential PowerPresidential Losses before The Supreme CourtConclusionFor DiscussionDebate Questions10. The Future of the American Presidency?Yesterday, Today, and TomorrowHolding Presidents to AccountThe Presidency and Democratic Theory"Votes of No Confidence?"What About a "President's Question Hour in Congress"?A Third Party to the Rescue?Should We Repeal the Twenty-second (Two-term Limit) Amendment?Should Presidents Be Granted an Item Veto?Limiting the President's War PowersThe Ultimate Check: Impeachment and RemovalCampaign Finance Reform--AgainAccountability in an Age of TerrorismThe Necessity for Politics and Democratic AccountabilityFor DiscussionDebate QuestionsInternet LinksSelected BibliographyNotesPresidential Election ResultsIndex