Presidential Power: The Power of Persuasion Essay

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Presidential Power: The Power of Persuasion Political scientists have continually searched for methods that explain presidential power and success derived from using that power effectively. Five different approaches have been argued including the legal approach, presidential roles approach, Neustadtian approach, institutional approach, and presidential decision-making approach. The legal approach says that all power is derived from a legal authority (U.S. Constitution). The presidential roles approach contends that a president’s success is derived from balancing their role as head of state and head of government. The Neustadtian approach contends that “presidential power is the power to persuade“ (Neustadt, p. 11). The institutional …show more content…
He means that modern presidents are more accustomed to balancing interests in order to achieve a desired outcome rather than simple saying what needs to be done and to do it (Neustadt, pp. 7-8). Chapter two is focused on the idea of command versus persuasion. He picks three instances from presidential history (the firing of General MacArthur, steel mill seizures, and the sending of federal troops to desegregate Little Rock’s Central High School) in order to show where presidents have used the power of command (Neustadt, pp. 10-11). He insists that the power of command is used very lightly in the modern presidency and before presidents use these powers they must have exhausted all remedies and gone through the necessary steps such as informing the public before going through with any command decision. Command decisions are dangerous but in these three cases all went well even though these remedies were costly and very inconclusive. Neustadt argues, however, that the lack of persuasive success was due to the poor judgment of the presidents. Truman damaged his own credibility when he spoke out about MacArthur being a loyal official months before getting rid of him for putting peace talks in jeopardy with his stinging rhetoric about continuing the fight until ultimate victory (Neustadt, p. 35). In addition, when Eisenhower spoke out about not using federal troops to desegregate schools, he provided Governor

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