Delays or cancellations will cause a massive loss of

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Unformatted text preview: na Government and International Studies professor, 4 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 80) Given the popular image of presidential power, presidents receive credit when things are perceived as going well and are blamed when things go badly. Unfortunately, American politics and the policy process are incredibly complex and beyond considerable presidential control. With so many complex issues and problems to address – the debt problem, the economy, energy, welfare, education, the environment, foreign policy – this is a very demanding time to be president. As long as presidential promises and public expectations remain high, the president’s job becomes virtually an impossible task. Should success occur, given the lack of presidential power, it is probably not by the president’s own design. Nonetheless, the president – the person perceived to be the leader of the country – will be rewarded in terms of public prestige, greater power, and reelection (for him or his successor). However, if the president is perceived as unsuccessful – a failure – this results not only in a weakened president but one the public wants replaced, creating the opportunity to challenge an incumbent president or his heir as presidential nominee. Gonzaga Debate Institute 2011 227 Mercury Politics Link Booster – Generic – Controversial Policies Spend Political Capital Controversial policies drain political capital Burke, University of Vermont political science professor, 9 (John P., Presidential Studies Quarterly 39.3 (Sept 2009), “The Contemporary Presidency: The Obama Presidential Transition: An Early Assessment”, p574(31). Academic One; accessed 7-15-10) President Obama signaled his intention to make a clean break from the unpopular Bush presidency with his executive orders and early policy and budget proposals. At the same time, he also sought to tamp down public expectations for quick results on the economy. Early--and ambitious--actions were taken, but as he cautioned in his inaugural address, "the challenges we face are real" and they "will not be met easily or in a short span of time." His initial political capital seemed high. But was the right course of action chosen? The decision was made to embrace a broad range of policy reforms, not just to focus on the economy. Moreover, it was a controversial agenda. His early efforts to gain bipartisan support in Congress--much like those of his predecessors--seem largely for naught and forced the administration to rely on narrow partisan majorities. The question that remains is whether his political capital, both in Congress and with the public, will bring him legislative--and ultimately policy--success. Good transition planning is propitious, but it offers no guarantees. Still, without it, political and policy disaster likely awaits. So far, President Obama seems to reside largely on the positive side of the equation. But what the future might portend remains another matter. Unpopular a...
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This note was uploaded on 01/14/2013 for the course POL 090 taught by Professor Framer during the Spring '13 term at Shimer.

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