“There is a need for such a book that sharpens our thinking and examines the big questions about leadership, responsiveness, and democracy. Indeed, this is a very ambitious book that succeeds in defining, theorizing about, and rigorously examining presidential pandering as well as substantially advancing political thinking and research.”--Robert Shapiro, Columbia University
(Robert Shapiro, Columbia University)
“In the remarkably readable Who Leads Whom? Brandice Canes-Wrone not only integrates and extends innovative formal theories of the president, the Congress, and the public but also subjects these and competing theories to uniquely discriminating empirical tests. Scholars who pine for a new state of the art in presidential research should take note. This is it.”
(Keith Krehbiel, Stanford University)
“Brandice Canes-Wrone raises interesting and important new questions about the public presidency and systematically tests her theorizing. A must-read for presidency scholars.”--George C. Edwards III, editor of Presidential Studies Quarterly
(George C. Edwards III, editor of Presidential Studies Quarterly)
"The book's findings are interesting and help us to better understand both the relationship between presidents and the public, as well as the nature of presidential rhetoric."
(Richard Waterman Governance
"By explicitly considering how policy is made, Canes-Wrone substantially advances our understanding of when presidents will go public and how these appeals influence policy. Most important, she suggests that public opinion infiuences pohcymaking, but presidents neither manipulate public opinion nor follow it regardless of where it goes. Rather, in some sense, presidents act as agenda setters by playing a role in determining which policies the public will see as salient and Congress will ultimately act on."
(James N. Druckman Public Opinion Quarterly
From the Inside Flap
With contemporary politics so connected to the pulse of the American people, Who Leads Whom? offers much-needed insight into how public opinion actually works in our democratic process. Analyzing the actions of modern presidents ranging from Eisenhower to Clinton, Brandice Canes-Wrone demonstrates that presidents’ involvement of the mass public, by putting pressure on Congress, shifts policy in the direction of majority opinion. More important, she also shows that presidents rarely cater to the mass citizenry unless they already agree with the public’s preferred course of action. Integrating perspectives from presidential studies, legislative politics, public opinion, and rational choice theory, this theoretical and empirical inquiry will appeal to a wide range of students and scholars of the American political process.