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The Politics of the Presidency

The Politics of the Presidency

Revised Ninth Edition

October 2017 | 616 pages | CQ Press

Trace the opening rounds of the Trump administration: highlighting the 2016 election, transition, inauguration, and first one hundred days.  


Never losing sight of the foundations of the office, The Politics of the Presidency maintains a balance between historical context, the current political environment, and contemporary scholarship on the executive branch, providing a solid foundation for any presidency course. In addition to offering readers a comprehensive framework for understanding the expectations, powers, and limitations of the executive branch, the Revised Ninth Edition uses the most up-to-date coverage and analysis of the 2016 election and Trump administration to demonstrate key concepts.


New to the Revised Ninth Edition

  • A new chapter dedicated to the Trump transition and first one hundred days examines important topics such as the immigration ban and other executive orders; efforts at deregulation; the targeted military strikes in Syria; and the war on the intelligence community and the deconstruction of the administrative state.
  • Recent congressional relations analyzed, including the confirmation of Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch after Senate Republicans employed the “nuclear option” and took away the opportunity to filibuster Supreme Court nominees; efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare; fiscal 2017 and 2018 budget negotiations; and congressional investigations of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, his firing of FBI director James Comey, and the appointment of a special counsel in the matter.
  • An assessment of the public presidency reviews Trump’s approval ratings, communications strategies, and media coverage.
  • Discussions of Trump’s leadership challenges in a polarized age explain the difficulties of unifying a nation after a bitter election, launching an administration, and structuring the executive branch.
Part I: The President and the Public
Chapter 1: The Changing Presidency
The Scope of Presidential Power  
Expansion of the Presidency  
Presidential Culture  
Conclusion: The Changeable, Political Presidency  
Chapter 2: Election Politics
Evolution of the Selection Process  
Defining the Pool of Eligibles  
Competing for the Nomination  
The National Convention  
The General Election  
Conclusion: Transitions to Governing  
Chapter 3: Public Politics
Public Attitudes toward the Presidency  
Rallying Public Support  
The President and the Media  
Conclusion: The Permanent Campaign  
Chapter 4: Presidential Character and Performance
Determinants and Evaluations of Performance  
What Manner of Person?  
Psychological Characteristics of U.S. Presidents  
Management Styles of Modern Presidents  
Understanding Presidents: Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump  
Conclusion: Seeking Presidential Success  
Part II: The President and the Government
Chapter 5: Legislative Politics
Three Confrontations in Interbranch Relations  
Development of the President’s Legislative Role  
The Presidential-Congressional Relationship  
The President’s Formal Legislative Powers  
The President’s Informal Legislative Influence  
Explaining Presidents’ Legislative Success  
Conclusion: Legislating Together  
Chapter 6: Executive Politics
The President as Executive  
The President and the Executive Branch  
The President and the Cabinet  
The Vice President  
The First Lady  
Presidential Control of the Bureaucracy  
Presidential Management of the Bureaucracy  
Conclusion: The Frustrating Search for Control  
Chapter 7: Judicial Politics
Presidential Appointment of Federal Judges  
Other Presidential Influences on the Federal Courts  
Judicial Oversight of Presidential Action  
Conclusion: A Balancing Act  
Part III: The President and Public Policy
Chapter 8: The Politics of Domestic Policy
The Domestic Policy Process  
The Domestic Policy Environment  
The Domestic Policy Apparatus  
Conclusion: Providing Policy Leadership  
Chapter 9: The Politics of Economic Policy
Macroeconomic Policy  
Microeconomic Policy  
Presidents and the Economy: 1933–2017  
The Politics of Macroeconomic Policymaking  
The Economic Subpresidency  
Presidents and Economic Policy Coordination  
Congress’s Role in Macroeconomic Policy  
Conclusion: Avoiding Economic Disorder  
Chapter 10: The Politics of National Security Policy
Issues in National Security Policy: Search for a New Consensus  
The Problem with National Security Policymaking  
The President, Congress, and National Security  
Organizing and Managing National Security  
Conclusion: Limiting the Exercise of Power  
Chapter 11: The Trump Transition and First One Hundred Days
The Transition  
The Inauguration  
The First 100 Days  
President Trump: A Natural Experiment  

The Politics of the Presidency is well designed, well written, easy for students to comprehend, and all-around useful in laying out the key facets and concepts of the American presidency. It is deep in its material without being dense and is approachable without sacrificing rigor. I have not seen a text on the American presidency that does a better job of laying clear the history, powers, and limitations of the modern chief executive.”

Michael Julius
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

“The authors’ approach puts politics front and center in the study of the presidency. The Politics of the Presidency is clearly the work of senior scholars who have devoted many years to the study of the presidency and scholarship on the office. They know a lot about the office and convey what they know to students in a well-organized and well-written manner.”

Andrew Battista
East Tennessee State University

I use The Politics of the Presidency in my undergraduate presidency courses because the essential topics are thoroughly covered in a style that is both readable and interesting. The cases and examples are always well chosen and up-to-date, and the special circumstances and challenges facing the current president can be easily compared to enduring presidential responsibilities such as domestic politics, economic policy, and national security.”

Bruce Buchanan
University of Texas at Austin

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: The Changing Presidency

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ISBN: 9781506367798