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Predicting the PresidencyThe Potential of Persuasive Leadership$
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George C., III Edwards

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691170374

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691170374.001.0001

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Exploiting Partisans in Congress

Exploiting Partisans in Congress

(p.183) Chapter 9 Exploiting Partisans in Congress
Predicting the Presidency

George C. Edwards III

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how the chief executive exploits partisans in Congress to improve his chances of obtaining support from lawmakers. One of the president’s most demanding and frustrating tasks is trying to move Congress to support his policies. Presidents are unlikely to change many congressional minds, but they can take advantage of members’ ideological predispositions or their proclivities to support their party leader. Understanding strategic position with Congress is the key to successful presidential leadership. The chapter first provides an overview of congressional support for the president from both Democrats and Republicans before discussing the president’s role as party leader. It also considers Lyndon B. Johnson’s experience in dealing with Congress and concludes by explaining how presidents such as Johnson and Ronald Reagan improve their chances of obtaining support in Congress by increasing the number of fellow party members in the legislature.

Keywords:   partisans, Congress, predispositions, presidential leadership, strategic position, Democrats, Republicans, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan

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