Comparing Presidential Behavior: Carter, Reagan, and the Macho Presidential Style

Comparing Presidential Behavior: Carter, Reagan, and the Macho Presidential Style

Comparing Presidential Behavior: Carter, Reagan, and the Macho Presidential Style

Comparing Presidential Behavior: Carter, Reagan, and the Macho Presidential Style

Synopsis

"Orman's Comparing Presidential Power is an important and insightful study of the American Presidency. The macho model of presidential leadership is developed well and supported by both primary and secondary research. In fact, a brief overview of the book cannot do justice to the detailed analysis and support provided in the work. The text is well documented and every assumption is illustrated by several specific examples. The humanistic study is written from an audience perspective providing a socio-psychological orientation of how the public interprets the office. Thus, the lasting value of the book is not so much in the comparison of the Carter and Reagan presidencies or the defense of the Carter administration but in the provision of a complete model or theory of the contemporary institutional presidency. The book is a valuable contribution to the literature and thus a must for scholars and students of the American presidency." Presidential Studies Quarterly

Excerpt

After a macho presidential candidate has been elected, Americans ask their president to be decisive and unemotional. Americans generally like a president who makes decisions, who takes control of a situation, and who provides leadership by telling others how to deal with problems. Americans do like some amount of flexibility and pragmatism in their chief executive, yet they do not like the elected head of state to be indecisive. Moreover, a president is not respected by presidential watchers, opinion leaders, fellow Washingtonians, and the public when he loses control of his emotions. We ask the president to suspend his humanity, never to reveal his true emotional state or feelings, and to act like he is not touched by the full range of human emotional experience. The president can show joy, but not too much. He can show fear, but not too much. The president can show anger, but not too much. He can show emotional hurt, but not too much. The president should not cry in public. He should display all the emotional feeling that the head of a large multinational corporation would display. In short, the president of the United States is asked to provide the manly image of being in control of his emotions at all times. This emotional constipation can be very costly to the country as it props up the image of the macho presidential style.

The American president is involved in a game played out usually in the bureaucracy with and between mostly other men. The game pits intellectual toughness, hardball politics, and the bureaucratic . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.