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Presidential Politics of Recognition part 1

Presidential Politics of Recognition part 1 - “To Look...

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Unformatted text preview: “To Look Like America” The Presidential Politics of Recognition D. Jason Berggren University of Georgia Spring 2008 President as Chief Representative • Many view the President as the country’s chief representative of the American people – James Wilson-PA--“man of the people” (Ellis and Nelson p. 76) – Gouverneur Morris-NY-- “the great protector of the mass of the people” • after all, the President (and VP) is only federal official elected countrywide • Andrew Jackson was first president to speak of the presidential mandate--his electoral victory interpreted as popular support for his policies (Robert Dahl 1990) President as Chief Representative • President James Polk said the president “represents the whole of the people” • Theodore Roosevelt said the president is the “steward of the people bound actively and affirmatively to do all he could for the people” • Indeed, TR believed, the president is compelled “to do anything that the needs of the nation demanded” (unless of course specifically prohibited to do so by the Constitution or acts of Congress) • But since Woodrow Wilson, view of modern presidents is that presidents alone represent the American people, nation as a whole The Wilsonian View • “The President is at liberty, both in law and conscience, to be as big a man as he can. His capacity will set the limit… • “Members of the House and Senate are representatives of localities, are voted for only by sections of voters…” • “There is no national party choice except that of President. No one else represents the people as a whole, exercising a national choice…The nation as a whole has chosen him, and is conscious that it has no other political spokesman.” • His is the only national voice in affairs…He is the representative of no constituency, but of the whole people.” • When he speaks in his true character, he speaks for no special...
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Presidential Politics of Recognition part 1 - “To Look...

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