Success: Presidential Success, Success Or Influence?

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Understanding and evaluating presidents’ performance often poses challenges for political experts. The nation votes one president at the time and each presidency faces different tests. The environments surrounding a presidency have a tremendous impact on the success and failure of that presidency. In addition, the president exercises his power through a check and balance system embody in the Constitution. As stated in (Collier 1959), the Constitution created a government of “separated institutions sharing power.” As a result, a president works with others institutions of the government to shape the nation’s agenda. Thus, determining a presidential performance becomes difficult, especially when it comes to comparing the performance among presidencies.…show more content…
Should it be evaluated in term of “success” or “influence?” (Collier 1959), suggested that some studies have chosen to focus on success while others have examined the influence. However, most studies have a focus on the presidential success arguing that, emphasis on presidential influence is too narrow. On the other hand, (Collier 1959) argued that, given the problem of the government responsiveness in a system of separate institutions sharing power, it is important to analyze the conditions that might lead to the presidential success rather the success alone. Nonetheless, to find out why success is studied more frequently than influence, required an understanding of the difference between success and influence. According to (Collier 1959), Success evaluated presidential performance in terms of the passage of the legislation supported by the President. Influence emphasizes the president’s ability to alter the actions of others. In other words, success measures the outcome (Example of Roll call votes) whereas, influence measures the pre-outcome (The president ability’s to gather people behind his vision, ability to control or persuade members of Congress, the ability to convince others to do as he…show more content…
Roll call votes, number of bills signed and the numbers of presidential vetoes present an interesting method of measuring success. They are quantitative in nature and present a statistical relationship . As Dr. Whitlock put it: “There is a reason Americans prefer football over soccer – we love score. “ Although focus on success is frequent and relatively easy to measure, some scholars including (Collier 1959) have argued that it fails to capture the full picture surrounding the passage of a piece of legislation. For example, as (Collier 1959) remarked, the passage of a piece of legislation signed by the president may be different than the original bill introduced in the Congress. Yet, the president can still claim political victory after the bill passes. In addition, during divided government, when party control is divided between the branches, success in terms of outcomes measures may fail to capture the full picture of which player was really preventing the objective of the
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