Advise-Consent_Am-Pres - institutions.(1995,,no...

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American Political Institutions: The two films this week take dramatically different views of American political  institutions. In  The American President  (1995), there is virtually no scandal, no  malfeasance, and no corruption. In  Advise and Consent  (1962), there is virtually nothing  that is not corrupt.  Advise and Consent  was based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Allen Drury (1959). Directed by Otto Preminger, it tells the story of the President’s nominee  (Leffingwell) for the position of Secretary of State—a nominee who instantly ignites  controversy. The key players in the drama are the Senate Majority Leader (who is  attempting to steer Leffingwell’s nomination through the Senate), Senator Cooley (a  Southerner strongly opposed to the appointment), Subcommittee Chair Brigham  Anderson (who attempts to maintain a fair and principled process), and Senator Van  Ackerman (an extremely ambitious character who is unrelenting in his advocacy for the  appointee).  The controversy arises because Leffingwell is an internationalist who believes it is  important to build consensus with U.S. allies. The novel (as well as the film), which came out shortly after the McCarthy Era, depicted a government obsessed with Communism,  and Cooley immediately goes on the attack, going so far as to blackmail a Treasury  Department official to force him to renounce Leffingwell. With few exceptions, virtually 
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