The Presidency: To persuade or not to persuade?

  • Created by: Q_
  • Created on: 07-04-19 17:52
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  • Is the President's power still the power to persuade?
    • NO
      • In an era of partisanship, few members of Congress from the opposition party are open to presidential persuasion, especially on big-ticket items.
      • Partisanship also makes persuasion a less useful tool for the president trying to persuade voters to support him and then pressurise uncooperative members of Congress to do the same.
      • Presidents nowadays tend to have low approval ratings (and high disapproval ratings) and therefore their persuasion is much less effective.
      • Second-term presidents have always found their persuasive power to be very limited.
        • Barack Obama Support Scores
          • 2009: 96.7% (unified)
            • 2010: 85.8% (unified)
              • 2011: 57.1% (divided)
                • 2012: 53.6% (divided)
                  • 2015: 45.7% (divided)
    • YES
      • The president has no formal disciplinary hold over members of Congress.
      • Party discipline in Congress, although tighter than it used to be, cannot guarantee votes for the President.
      • The president may be faced with one or both houses of Congress controlled by the other party.
      • The president is dependent upon members of Congress for legislation, confirmation of appointments and treaty ratification.
      • The presidents 'direct authority' has limited use.
      • The president can offer his support for things members of Congress regard as important.


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