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The Polarized Presidency of George W. Bush$
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George C Edwards III and Desmond King

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199217977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217977.001.0001

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The Promotional Presidency and the New Institutional Toryism: Public Mobilization, Legislative Dominance, and Squandered Opportunities

The Promotional Presidency and the New Institutional Toryism: Public Mobilization, Legislative Dominance, and Squandered Opportunities

Chapter:
(p.285) 9 The Promotional Presidency and the New Institutional Toryism: Public Mobilization, Legislative Dominance, and Squandered Opportunities
Source:
The Polarized Presidency of George W. Bush
Author(s):

Lawrence R. Jacobs (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217977.003.0009

Changes in governing norms and the development of institutional capacity and routines that foster public presidential promotion generate incentives and expectations for the presidents to overestimate their personal power and underestimate durable institutional and political constraints. The result is a tendency — especially on major programmatic initiatives — to squander leadership opportunities and to leave presidents in weakened political positions. This chapter examines the rise of presidential promotions and its impact on White House calculations by tracing changes in the White House's institutional capacity for reaching the public, a content analysis of presidential appeals is given, and comparative case studies of institutionally strong presidents — those who enjoyed the rare and advantaged position of unified party government are studied. The chapter's conclusion weighs the implications of what may be an emerging form of institutional Toryism — one that recalibrates the constitutional balance of authority under certain conditions and legitimizes a politically astute future Democratic president to use the new norms of governance for liberal ends.

Keywords:   presidential promotion, institutional Toryism, presidential overreaching

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