Chapter 14: Presidential Style and the Obama Presidency
Presidential Style and the Obama Presidency
The individual who comes to the oval office in the White House typically draws extraordinary attention and commentary in the popular media. The cult of the leader looms large in how we assess presidencies. Biographies of presidents, as well, point to how their particular subject handled difficult events and, often, how prior experiences shaped the handling of those events.
On the whole, political scientists are fairly skeptical about the impact of personal characteristics on the success or failure of presidencies.1 They tend to see larger and more powerful forces at work: those influencing the economy, the ability to generate political coalitions in an institutional system designed to deter ambition, the short attention spans of mass ...