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Presidents and the American Presidency

Lori Cox Han and Diane J. Heith

Publication Date - December 2012

ISBN: 9780195385168

560 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $54.95

Uses archival documents to reveal the real-life inner workings of the U.S. presidency


Presidents and the American Presidency engages students in the study of the presidency through an exploration of both the political institution and the men who have held the office. Considering both the strengths and the weaknesses of the office, authors Lori Cox Han and Diane J. Heith move beyond purely theoretical analysis to examine the real-life, day-to-day responsibilities and challenges that go with the job.


* Incorporates archival documents from multiple administrations--in a "Then and Now" format--that reveal the inner workings of the White House and animate the discussions from the perspective of the presidents and other political actors

* Offers extensive coverage of methodology, teaching students how to analyze the institution

* Develops critical-thinking skills by integrating both institutional and president-centered approaches

* Includes an in-depth discussion of campaign finance as an essential part of electing presidents

About the Author(s)

Lori Cox Han is Professor of Political Science at Chapman University. She is the author of A Presidency Upstaged (2011) and Women and U.S. Politics, Second Edition (2010), editor of New Directions in the American Presidency (2010), and coeditor of Rethinking Madam President (2007).

Diane J. Heith is Associate Professor and Chair of Government and Politics at St. John's University. She is the author of the forthcoming The Presidential Road Show (2013) and Polling to Govern (2003) and coeditor, with Lori Cox Han, of In the Public Domain (2005).


"This full-coverage introductory text gives students the ability to evaluate the individual and the institution by learning the importance of evaluating critical primary source materials."--Victoria A. Farrar-Myers, The University of Texas at Arlington

"This book is global in its topical coverage and unique due to the archive materials from actual presidencies, which bring the institution to life."--Glen Krutz, The University of Oklahoma

"A thorough and in-depth examination of the presidency and American presidents and very suitable to either an undergraduate or graduate course on the presidency." --Jonathan Day, Western Illinois University

Table of Contents

    Each chapter includes a Conclusion, Suggested Readings, and "On the Web."
    Tables and figures
    Chapter 1. Introduction: Studying Presidents and the Presidency
    Historical Context
    The Traditional Presidency
    The Modern Presidency
    The Postmodern/Contemporary Presidency
    Theories and Methodologies
    Classics in Presidential Studies
    Newer Methodologies Evolve
    The President-Centered Approach
    The Presidency-Centered Approach
    Presidential Libraries
    Public Papers
    Building a Presidential Library: Then . . . and Now
    In Their Own Words: Leadership
    Chapter 2. Presidents and the Constitution
    The Framers' Plan and the Constitutional Convention
    Inherited Practices and Ideas
    The Framers' World
    The Confederation Executive
    General vs. Limited Authority
    Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances
    Rule by Elites and the Electoral College
    Powers of the Office
    The Vesting Clause
    Law-Enforcement Authority Authority
    Legislative Authority
    Appointment and Removal Power
    Executive Privilege and Immunity
    Expansion of Presidential Powers
    Theories of Presidential Power
    The Constitutionality of Expanded Presidential Powers
    Presidential Pardons: Then . . . and Now
    In Their Own Words: The War Powers Resolution
    Chapter 3. The Presidential Selection Process
    The Nominating Process in Historical Perspective
    The Pre-Nomination Period
    Deciding to Run
    The Invisible Primary
    Gaining Party Support
    Primaries and Caucuses
    Iowa and New Hampshire
    Super Tuesday
    Financing Presidential Campaigns
    Campaign Finance: A Brief History
    The Federal Election Campaign Acts of 1971 and 1974
    Loopholes to Campaign Finance Laws
    Public Funding of Presidential Campaigns
    Recent Campaign Finance Reforms
    National Party Conventions
    The General Election
    The Electoral College
    Appealing to Voters
    Campaign Communications
    The Consequences of Winning
    The Coalition
    The Message and the Mandate
    Campaigning vs. Governing
    Presidential Nominations: Then . . . and Now
    In Their Own Words: The Electoral College Strategy
    Chapter 4. The Public Presidency: Communication and Mass Media
    The Evolving Rhetorical Presidency
    The Radio Era
    The Television Age
    The Internet Age
    Presidential Communication: Strategies and Resources
    The Press Office and Press Secretary
    The Office of Communications
    Speech Writing
    Public Events
    The President and the Press
    The White House Press Corps
    Press Conferences
    The Media Environment
    News Coverage of the President
    White House Press Strategies
    Addressing the Nation: Then . . . and Now
    In Their Own Words: Media Exposure
    Chapter 5. The Public Presidency: Public Opinion
    A Restrained View of the Public
    Evaluating the President
    Job Approval
    Personal Approval
    President Obama and Public Opinion
    Popularity as a Source of Presidential Power
    Presidential Polling as a Source of Power
    Using White House Polls
    Tracking the Constituency
    Rhetorical Design
    Polling to Save a Presidency: Then . . . and Now
    In Their Own Words: Presidential Image and Public Opinion
    Chapter 6. Presidents and the Legislative Branch
    The President's Formal Role in the Legislative Process
    Using the Veto
    The Legislative Veto
    The Line-Item Veto
    Recommendations to Congress
    Senate Confirmations
    Separation of Powers
    Staking Out a Role
    Creating the Chief Legislator
    Sharing Powers
    Divergent Constituencies
    The Decision-Making Process
    Political Parties
    Individual Behavior
    Veto Politics
    Budget Showdowns and Shutdowns: Then . . . and Now
    In Their Own Words: Campaigning Against Congress
    Chapter 7. Presidents and the Judicial Branch
    Nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court
    Franklin Roosevelt and the Federal Courts
    Tenure and Removal
    The Nomination Process
    The Confirmation Process
    The Confirmation Hearings
    Politicizing the Process
    Presidential Legacies
    Nominations to Lower Federal Courts
    Nominating and Confirming Federal Judges
    The Candidate Pool
    The President's Relationship with the Judicial Branch
    The Role of the Solicitor General
    Implementing Supreme Court Decisions
    Defining Presidential Powers
    Selecting a Chief Justice: Then . . . and Now
    In Their Own Words: Seeking Justice
    Chapter 8. Presidents and the Executive Branch
    The Job of the Chief Executive
    The Bureaucracy Evolves
    The Bureaucracy Today
    Separation of Power Creates Conflict
    The Cabinet
    The Executive Office of the President
    Creating the Executive Office of the President
    White House Staff
    Organizing the White House Staff
    The Chief of Staff
    Concerns With and Consequences of the EOP
    Mechanisms for Presidential Control of the Bureaucracy
    Budgeting as Management
    Executive Orders
    Regulatory Review
    Signing Statements
    Vice Presidents
    The History of the Office
    The Contemporary Vice Presidency
    First Ladies
    First Ladies in Historical Perspective
    Contemporary First Ladies
    Crisis Management: Then . . . and Now
    In Their Own Words: Managing the White House
    Chapter 9. Presidents and Domestic Policymaking
    U.S. Domestic Policy
    Policy and Presidential Agendas
    Presidents and Domestic Policymaking
    Principal Domestic Policymakers
    The Evolution of U.S. Domestic Policy
    Economic Policy
    Social Policy
    Social Services
    Law Enforcement
    Natural Resources and Conservation
    Saving the Big Three Automakers: Then . . . and Now
    In Their Own Words: Signing Medicare into Law
    Chapter 10 Presidents and Foreign Policymaking
    U.S. Foreign Policy
    Diplomacy vs. National Security
    Economic Interests
    Presidents and Foreign Policymaking
    The Rational-Actor Model
    The Political Agenda
    Domestic Actors
    International Actors
    Principal Geopolitical Theaters
    The Evolution of U.S. Foreign Policy
    The Early Republic through World War I
    World War II and the Cold War
    The Post-Soviet World
    War and U.S. Foreign Policy
    Nation Building: Then . . . and Now
    In Their Own Words: The Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis
    Appendix A. Conducting Research at Presidential Libraries
    Appendix B. The United States Constitution
    Appendix C. Presidential Elections Results, 1789-2012