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Going Public: New Strategies of Presidential Leadership Paperback – August 1, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-1568022185 ISBN-10: 1568022182 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: CQ Press; 3rd edition (August 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568022182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568022185
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,278,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Samuel Kernell is professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, where he has taught since 1977. Previously, he taught at the University of Mississippi and the University of Minnesota. Kernell's research interests focus on the presidency and American political history. His books include Going Public: New Strategies of Presidential Leadership, 4th edition, Principles and Practice of American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 3rd edition (edited with Steven S. Smith), an edited collection of essays, James Madison: The Theory and Practice of Republican Government, and, with Gary C. Jacobson, The Logic of American Politics, 3rd edition and Strategy and Choice in Congressional Elections, 2nd edition. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Freeman on March 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Kernell described "going public" as "a strategy whereby a president promotes himself and his policies in Washington by appealing to the American public for support" (p.2). Use of this strategy is said to be on the rise as it is particularly well suited to the modern president. Kernell argued that this strategy is a powerful tactic that can be used by a president to force a reluctant Congress to go along with a certain policy, but that it is incompatible with Neustadt's "bargaining president." He described several cases where the strategy was used, sometimes it worked, other times it did not, he said. The underlying premise though is that our government has moved from being institutionally pluralistic to a more individualized pluralism where every Congressman must fend for themselves (decline of party argument). One is left agreeing that public support does give a president certain leverage in bargaining with Congress, but how the support is measured or that it definitely replaces bargaining and forces Congress to act is not adequately substantiated. The book has some interesting stories on how some policies of some presidents played out in the political arena. If you like behind-the-scenes writings on policy making and president-Congress relations - buy the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew P. Arsenault on November 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Samuel Kernell argues that Washington politics have undergone a structural change over the past half century. Traditionally, politics in Washington were conducted according to a system of mutually beneficial interactions and bargains. Kernell refers to this structure as institutionalized pluralism. Under such a system, the political elite are the ultimate decision makers. It is these elites that have access to a number of political resources that help shape and enforce their political power.

As such, this early era Washington is essentially isolated from the core constituents. Party leaders and other senior political elites offer support to candidates who will not only tow the party line, but respect the seniority system already in place. Furthermore, institutionalized pluralism supports an environment in which coalitions form the spine of the system. The coalitions often shape the options available to the early presidents. Kernell describes the role of the President; "(he) seizes the center of the Washington bazaar and actively barter's with fellow politicians to build winning coalitions. He must do so...or he will forfeit any claim to leadership" (18).

However, Washington politics has moved from a closely regulated environment of institutionalized pluralism to what Kernell refers to as individualized pluralism. A system of individual pluralism is one in which the system of strong parties, seniority and bargaining are in decline. In their stead has emerged a system of individualistic politicians which are driven not by coalition building and party support, but by maintaining the will of their constituent base.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Newsman78 on June 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Kernell's fine work is a wonderful addition to the scholarly literature in political science on the American presidency. It's well-written and well-organized. His insights into why, when and how presidents "go public" and take their case over the heads of congressmen to the people are informative and worthwhile. Not all of his observations fit the case studies he uses, and he sometimes exaggerates his case a bit, but overall he makes good points.
Highly recommended for scholars of the presidency, or American politics in general. Also a good book for a knowledgeable layman interested in politics.
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Format: Paperback
When the President is going public, which means that he goes directly to the public to make his case on a particular issue, he is attempting to create pressure on those who oppose him or his policies. He is trying to persuade those with different views, but do so with the specter of an outraged public. A public that only he can control through his special bond with the people. The idea is that the President will go to the public, get them outraged that he is not supported by so and so, and then tell so and so that he can help them overcome the public outrage. Kernell does not illustrate his argument with statistics, but rather a few cases studies. It works and shows the logic of this argument. Get this book and understand the media spectacle surrounding the occupant of 1600 Pa. Ave.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Sam Kernell's book is a must-read for students and scholars of the American Presidency. He artfully examines how modern American Presidents seek to persuade their constituents in a media-driven political environment. He takes Richard Neustadt's Presidential Power, and adds to it a crucial blend of modern circumstances in this evaluation. It is an enoyable read, chalked full of potentially valuable information for anyone seeeking to understand the modern Presidency and its persuasive difficulties.
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