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The Executive Branch

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The Executive Branch

The executive branch of our government is like a chameleon. To a startling degree it

reflects the character and personality of the President. Clark M. Clifford, 1972

Page 189.

Ford was not a natural administrator, but he a was an experienced political professional.

His practice was to steer clear of jurisdictional rivalries, avoid having confidants within

his cabinet, have private sources of advice outside the cabinet, leave "management and

program implementation to the department heads,: and encourage dissent when he was

making up his mind, but reserve the final decisions for himself. Page 120

Your motives will help maintain a positive outlook

Your speaking style and body language can be a liability. As was for Ford, who hit his

head while debarking from a helicopter and thereafter late-night television comedians

portrayed him as a bumbling incompetent. Page 120

Organizational Capacity —When we turn to the internal face of presidential leadership,

Eisenhower deserves the closest of attention. No other chief executive has entered the

White House with his organizational experience, and none has put comparable effort into

structuring his presidency. Eisenhower gave careful thought to finding the right

incumbents for the right roles. Once his aides were in place, he observed their

performance carefully, adjusting their responsibilities accordingly. Page 55

Public Communication —Of all of Eisenhower's qualities, his political communication

style has least to command it to future chief executives. The preexisting public support

the popular IKE carried over into the White House made it unnecessary for him to sell

himself; his prop...

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...According to Kennedy's friend LeMoyne Billings, Kennedy treated "each day as if it

were his last, demanding of life constant intensity, adventure, and pleasure," because he

had repeatedly come close to death in the war and in surgery and believed that he would

die at an early age from Addison's disease. Page 72

Kennedy provides a reminder that a president's actions are a function not only of the

intensity of his passions, but also of his capacity to channel them and prevent them from

confounding his official responsibilities. Page 73

Vision—Kennedy had little in the way of an overreaching perspective. He lacked grand

aspirations and was limited in what he could accomplish by the balance of forces in

Congress.

Page 72

Vision—Harry S. Truman was fundamentally reactive. Many presidents were

not "event-making leaders". Page 41.
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