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Renowned presidential scholar Stephen Wayne takes a close look at the interplay of personal character, partisan politics, and public opinion on presidential decision-making. In this systematic study of President Obama's character, Wayne considers how Obama's policy beliefs and operating style fueled his meteoric success as a candidate, but have had a decidedly mixed impact on his governance as president. Arguing that character matters, Wayne shows that Obama's personal dimensions both contribute and detract from his policy achieve-ments and political goals.Taking into account the environment in which President Obama took office, the book looks at how he has dealt with burdens, such as the troubled economy, the polarized political climate, and the public's mistrust of government. He sets the study of Obama within the larger literature on presidential character and explores the broader questions surrounding presidential leadership in a democratic society-whether presidents lead or follow public opinion, the extent to which leadership skills make a difference, and the kind of policy and political impact presidents can have in the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
|Boxes, Figures, and Tables||p. ix|
|Presidential Character: An Introduction||p. 1|
|A Disciplinary Dilemma||p. 3|
|Character and Its Derivatives||p. 5|
|Organization of the Book||p. 9|
|Race and Roots||p. 14|
|Ambition and Politics||p. 18|
|Adaptation and Approval||p. 20|
|Ego Checks and Guilt||p. 24|
|Commonality as a Value||p. 32|
|Church and Community||p. 35|
|Government and Society||p. 38|
|Progressive Pragmatism||p. 44|
|Decision Making||p. 54|
|Character-Based Tensions||p. 71|
|Idealism Versus Pragmatism||p. 73|
|Direction Versus Delegation||p. 74|
|Vision Versus Compromise||p. 76|
|Rationality Versus Empathy||p. 77|
|Boldness Versus Caution||p. 81|
|Political Impediments||p. 87|
|Transitioning from Campaigning to Governing||p. 89|
|The Limits of Presidential Power||p. 97|
|Public Attitudes toward Government||p. 102|
|Leadership Dilemmas in a Democracy||p. 109|
|Obama' s Theory of Democratic Leadership||p. 111|
|The Bully Pulpit and Its Limits||p. 112|
|Obama's Practice of Democratic Leadership||p. 117|
|The Interaction of Personality and Politics: Three Case Studies||p. 125|
|Stimulating the Economy||p. 127|
|Reforming Health Care||p. 129|
|Winning the War in Afghanistan||p. 137|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|