Power and the Presidency

Power and the Presidency

Power and the Presidency

Power and the Presidency

Synopsis

A sterling collection of original, never-before-published essays on six fascinating contemporary presidents--FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton--by some of the leading presidential biographers of our time.

Excerpt

Seeing is believing. It's the one axiom a contender for our nation's presidency and the immense power it confers on a single citizen can't leave home without. Because it is in the mind's eye and private reveries that the belief must take hold, beginning with a rhetorical question--"Why not me?"--or one just slightly less self- centered: "If not me, who?" Not surprisingly, those most susceptible to seeing and believing themselves in the Oval Office are government insiders, especially those inside the Senate. It has been said that almost all senators at one time or another hear in their inner ears "Hail to the Chief" played for them, although only two of the eleven presidents since FDR served in the Senate.

While we like the idea of the office seeking the person, it doesn't work that way with the exception of military figures associated closely with the leadership of a war: Washington, Grant, Eisenhower. The person has to have much, much more than an itch for the office and its power; it takes a mania and the capacity for the punishment of having life and family turned inside out in the blood sport search for all sins of omission and commission. Not to mention the endless indignity of fund-raising and the re-

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