Personality and Politics

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-03-15
  • Publisher: Cq Pr

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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 Tablesp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Presidential Character: An Introductionp. 1
A Disciplinary Dilemmap. 3
Character and Its Derivativesp. 5
Organization of the Bookp. 9
Character Development
Race and Rootsp. 14
Ambition and Politicsp. 18
Adaptation and Approvalp. 20
Ego Checks and Guiltp. 24
Summaryp. 26
Basic Beliefs
Commonality as a Valuep. 32
Church and Communityp. 35
Government and Societyp. 38
Progressive Pragmatismp. 44
Summaryp. 46
Operating Style
Cognitionp. 52
Decision Makingp. 54
Organizationp. 57
Communicationp. 60
Conciliationp. 64
Summaryp. 65
Character-Based Tensionsp. 71
Idealism Versus Pragmatismp. 73
Direction Versus Delegationp. 74
Vision Versus Compromisep. 76
Rationality Versus Empathyp. 77
Boldness Versus Cautionp. 81
Summaryp. 82
Political Impedimentsp. 87
Transitioning from Campaigning to Governingp. 89
The Limits of Presidential Powerp. 97
Public Attitudes toward Governmentp. 102
Summaryp. 104
Leadership Dilemmas in a Democracyp. 109
Obama' s Theory of Democratic Leadershipp. 111
The Bully Pulpit and Its Limitsp. 112
Obama's Practice of Democratic Leadershipp. 117
Summaryp. 121
The Interaction of Personality and Politics: Three Case Studiesp. 125
Stimulating the Economyp. 127
Reforming Health Carep. 129
Winning the War in Afghanistanp. 137
Summaryp. 143
Bibliographyp. 149
Indexp. 153
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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