I will start with explaining Neustadt’s arguments about presidential power in his book. Then further my answer to the extent in which compare other political scholars, Skowronek, Howell and Edwards in response to Neustadt’s points of view about American presidency.
The most important phase that Neustadt argues about the presidency and presidents is the persuasion power. He writes that the president cannot simply command “do this, do that”, as we all know “nothing will happen”. Different branches of the government have different constituencies and different interests. To make things happen, the president must use his bargaining skill to persuade others. Neustadt, to back his view gives a historical prove in which president Truman, about Eisenhower’s election, on one occasion said "He 'll sit there all day saying do this, do that, and nothing will happen. Poor Ike, it won’t be a bit like the military. He 'll find it very frustrating." Author then adds “The presidents’ advantages are checked by the advantages of others. Relationships will pull in both directions. These are relationships of mutual dependence. The president depends upon the persons that he would persuade; he has to reckon with their need or fear of them." (Neustadt) Here comes the bargaining skill and persuasion power in which the president portrays how his program will benefit other power and beneficiaries as well.
Another characteristic of political power in Neustadt’s theory is the reputation of the president. He believes, better reputation makes it easier to negotiate and achieve the planned strategy.
Finally the sign of presidential power that Neustadt study is his/her public prestige. How the public observes the president is crucial for president’s...
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...uthor suggests that rhetorical presidency, unlike common believe, according to the data and polls, are very unlikely to move and change public opinion. Yet there are some occasions in which presidents successfully established a power of public support in order to further their agendas and policies. Edwards challenges the Neustadt’s theory that argues presidential power is the power to persuade. As an alternative, he suggests that the presidential power is the power to identify and take advantages of the opportunities he faces. Unlike Neustadt, he thinks that presidents are not able to build a path for change, they only can understand and take advantage of opportunities that already present.
Despite that the Neustadt’s theory of presidential power, created a massive foundation for the field, however recent studies and researches are contradicting his view.
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