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Overreach: Leadership in the Obama Presidency

ISBN: 9780691163314

Product: Book, Paperback

May have wear from normal use.

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How Obama overestimated the power of rhetoric and persuasion during his presidency

When Barack Obama became president, many Americans embraced him as a transformational leader who would fundamentally change the politics and policy of the country. Yet, two years into his administration, the public resisted his calls for support and Congress was deadlocked over many of his major policy proposals. How could this capable new president have difficulty attaining his goals? Did he lack tactical skills?

In Overreach, respected presidential scholar George Edwards argues that the problem was strategic, not tactical. He finds that in President Obama's first two years in office, Obama governed on the premise that he could create opportunities for change by persuading the public and some congressional Republicans to support his major initiatives. As a result, he proposed a large, expensive, and polarizing agenda in the middle of a severe economic crisis. The president's proposals alienated many Americans and led to a severe electoral defeat for the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections, undermining his ability to govern in the remainder of his term.

Edwards shows that the president's frustrations were predictable and the inevitable result of misunderstanding the nature of presidential power. The author demonstrates that the essence of successful presidential leadership is recognizing and exploiting existing opportunities, not in creating them through persuasion. When Obama succeeded in passing important policies, it was by mobilizing Democrats who were already predisposed to back him. Thus, to avoid overreaching, presidents should be alert to the limitations of their power to persuade and rigorously assess the possibilities for obtaining public and congressional support in their environments.

George C. Edwards III is University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and the Jordan Chair in Presidential Studies at Texas A&M University. His many books include The Strategic President. He is the editor of Presidential Studies Quarterly.
ISBN/UPC:

9780691163314

Product:

Book, Paperback

Title:

Overreach: Leadership in the Obama Presidency

Contributors
Publisher:

Princeton University Press, 2015

Pages:

264

Specification:

9.10 x 6.10 x 0.80 inches, 0.80 pounds

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Acceptable:Fairly worn but fully readable and intact. Pages may include notes, highlighting, or minor water damage. Dust jacket, CDs, product codes, or other inclusions may be missing or expired.
Good:Shows signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes or highlighting. Dust jacket, CDs, product codes, or other inclusions may be missing or expired.
Very Good:Item has seen limited use and has minimal signs of wear. Pages are clean without markings. Dust jacket, CDs, product codes, or other inclusions may be missing or expired.
Like New:Shows little to no signs of wear. Spine has no signs of creasing. Pages are clean without markings. CDs, product codes, or other inclusions may be missing or expired.