The Wall Street Journal, the flagship of conservative thought, has proven again and again to be wrong about Obama and the economy, but of course will not acknowledge it. "The Obama program is going to test the liberal faith, not observed since the 1970s, that deficit spending and easy monetary policy are engines of prosperity," the … Continue reading WSJ Editorial from 2009 Reveals Wrong-Headed Predictions
American presidents must "attempt to close the yawning gap between what the public expects and what political reality and the American system of government allows," write two political scientists. In The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations: Establishing the Obama Presidency, they "argue that presidents justify their presidencies – both at the outset of their administrations and throughout … Continue reading Presidents Must Use Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations
Most presidents fall in the middle range when ranked by historians -- some good decisions and some bad decisions. But while they're still in office, their adversaries frequently say they are the worst in history. This is true of Obama, and was certainly true of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The Washington Post compiled … Continue reading ‘Worst President in History’? Nearly All Presidents Have Been Called ‘the Worst’
In college and grad school, these were some of the books we studied on the presidency: David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest, on the origins of the Vietnam War. How did the smartest advisors to the president, who had graduated from the best schools in the country, make such poor decisions in Vietnam? How … Continue reading Books on the Presidency I’ve Studied
Guardian: In the 1950s, a number of biographies of strong presidents and academic treatises on the institution had stressed its powers and the variety of the president's roles, for example as head of state, head of government, commander in chief, party leader and "leader of the Free World." Richard Neustadt, who was for more than … Continue reading What is the True Power of the Presidency?
Every generation or so, America experiences a presidency that offers "transformational leadership" -- "a leader who takes a visionary position and inspires people to follow" (click to read more on transformational leadership). This leader is not simply a follower of polls, a politician trying to survive and maintain his position, an incrementalist, a triangulator, a … Continue reading ‘Transformational Leadership’ Is What America Needs in 2008
Inauguration Day is traditionally the day when Democrats and Republicans put aside partisan differences and become AMERICANS FIRST, celebrating respect for law and the rightful choice of the American people in the previous November's election. In January 2001, that traditional ritual really didn't occur -- there were thousands of passionate protesters on the street, still … Continue reading Inauguration Days in History