Presidential Leadership: The Political Relations of Congress and the Chief Executive

1st Edition

Pendleton Herring

Routledge
Published January 3, 2006
Reference - 236 Pages
ISBN 9781412805568 - CAT# Y353051

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Summary

The nature of the presidency is an issue that has been debated since the drafting of the United States Constitution. The Federalists felt a strong executive was the backbone and prime mover of a strong government. On the other side, the Anti-Federalists felt the presidency represented monarchical tendencies and could potentially subvert republican government. How does executive leadership fit in with a limited government with enumerated powers? Does the Constitution require a containment of executive power, even during times of crisis, or do times of crisis warrant an abandonment of a strict legalistic reading of the document?In Presidential Leadership, Pendleton Herring contends that an energetic president is not a threat to existing democratic government "rightly understood." He does not advance an entirely Wilsonian response to the Founders on presidential leadership in which the federal government is seen as a pyramid with the president at its apex, and the British parliamentary system is seen as the model. Nor does he reject the Founders' constitutional design. Rather, Herring's conception of presidential leadership requires an executive who has a mastery of administration. The existing system is sufficiently plastic to be able to cope with any national crisis--but the president must be able to work within that system in the most efficient manner possible.Sidney Pearson, in his comprehensive new introduction to this classic work, shows how Herring merges the views of the Founding Fathers with the Liberal-Progressives. He explains that Herring's model of a strong president is one who knows how to grasp opportunities as they arise, and then use them for the common good. Presidential Leadership is a pioneering study of the American presidency that established the standard for presidential scholarship.

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