Presidential Studies Quarterly

Presidential Studies Quarterly is a quarterly newsletter on the subject of citizenship. Presidential Studies Quarterly is written by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and published by Sage Publications, Inc., in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 1, March

Being There: Why Leaders Should Not "Fiddle" While Rome Burns
The novel Being There is a parable about a childlike gardener named Chance who has led a sheltered life in his master's household and experiences life through television (Kosinski 1970). When Chance's master dies, he ventures out into the real world...
Cheney, Vice Presidential Power, and the War on Terror
Separation of powers and the related doctrine of checks and balances are prominent among the ways the U.S. Constitution seeks to prevent the concentration of state power and promote good governmental decision making. "If men were angels, no government...
Commentary: Ethics and Character in the U.S. Presidency
I begin these reflections on the preceding essays on a note of ethical realism, or at least caution. All human beings are morally flawed, and the practice of politics puts unusual pressure on ordinary moral restraints. For these reasons, ethical considerations...
Constitutional Character: Virtues and Vices in Presidential Leadership
Consider two candidates for president. Candidate A has engaged in questionable financial dealings and consorted with criminal types while in office, but is an exemplary family man. Candidate B has had several extramarital affairs, but his financial...
Ethical Issues in U.S. Presidential Leadership
This issue of Presidential Studies Quarterly presents a collection of papers that examine diverse ethical issues concerning the office of president of the United States. The collection focuses on the role of ethics, character, and virtue in determining...
Hail to the Fundraiser in Chief: The Evolution of Presidential Fundraising Travel, 1977-2004
On June 21, 2001, President George W. Bush flew to Birmingham, Alabama, where he gave a speech at Oak Mountain State Park. He discussed his administration's support for environmental conservation programs, his efforts to pass what would become the...
Personal Ethics, Public Virtue, and Political Legitimacy in Biblical Kings and American Presidents
I am here in two disparate though intersecting roles. As an American citizen, I bear my small portion of responsibility for the selection of our leaders. As a Jewish theologian, I am heir and custodian of 3,000 years of biblical interpretation. It...
Presidential Fitness and Presidential Lies: The Historical Record and a Proposal for Reform
Is an ethical presidency--one that can be defined as lawful and honest in its public dealings--possible in the twenty-first century? Thomas Jefferson would have had his doubts: "Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on [power]," he wrote, "a rottenness...
Prudence and Presidential Ethics: The Decisions on Iraq of the Two Presidents Bush
This essay discusses the importance of the virtue of prudence to presidential ethics. It examines the nature of prudence through an analysis of the decision making of Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and George Walker Bush to go to war with the...
What's the Matter with the White Working Class? the Effects of Union Membership in the 2004 Presidential Election
Thomas Frank's book What's the Matter with Kansas? sparked a lively academic debate about the political attitudes and voting behavior of the white working class. Frank writes of a "Great Backlash" in which the white working class, once a pillar of...
When Wars Begin: Misleading Statements by Presidents
On July 27, 2009, the Crime Subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on H.R. 743, the Executive Accountability Act of 2009. The bill would apply criminal penalties to presidents and executive officials who knowingly and willfully...