Presidential careers can never live up to expectations

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  • Created on: 17-04-14 10:32
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"Presidential careers can never live up to expectations." Discuss. (45 marks)
Introduction- why Presidents might not live up to expectations, presidency
being a paradox= most powerful, but has many restrictions
Congress- the many checks and balances set by them- eg power of the
purse. Examples of restrictions of Congress- Clinton and healthcare
reforms- also Obamacare. Power of the purse- Congress limiting Nixon in
Vietnam and Bush in Iraq/Afghanistan
Public opinion- vital to how President is seen- if people dislike him and
policies not supported by the public, nobody will vote for him & highly
unlikely laws will be passed. PO- good for Obama's heath care reforms.
Bad for Nixon following Watergate- 24% when he resigned.
Federal bureaucracy- because of its vastness- 15 executive
departments, 60 government agencies, boards and commissions- hard
to be able to control over 3 million civil servants- espec after New Deal
growth. Further, laws have to be implemented by state local
governments who might view it differently- Bush and No Child Left
Behind (states hostile to what was seen as federal involvement in
Size of mandate- how many people wanted him to be president- large
majority leaves more leeway to carry out policies- Reagan in 1980 (44
to 6) and 1984 (49-1). Know they have comfortable support.
Crisis handling- how good/bad they handle it. If good, a wave a
patriotism results and people rally around the President. Bush- 9/11 and
2002 election. Bad- Carter in 1980, lost because of perceived bad
handling of the Iran Hostage Crisis.
Previous Washington experience- means you know how system works
and who to go to make a deal- diplomatic skills also play a hand in this.
Bush Sr- experience as ambassador, congressman, director of CIA and
Vice President aided him in presidency.
Conclusion- the restrictions of presidency alleviated by enhancing factors.

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