An additional participant in the campaign, the national party organization, is much less influential than the White House and the campaign organization, but nevertheless contributes to both short and long-term campaign planning. This chapter begins with an explanation of the relationship between the president and the national party organization, followed by an examination of the role of the party organization in campaign planning. This overview reveals the presidential campaign's influence over RNC and DNC operations: as election day draws near, the national party organization alters its focus according to the needs of the president's campaign.
To paraphrase Clinton Rossiter, “the president wears many hats, ” and one of these non-constitutional hats is that of party leader. As party leader he assumes the following duties:
… [selects] the national chairman and other top party officials, reminds his partisans in Congress that the legislative record must be bright if victory is to crown their joint efforts, delivers 'fight talks' to the endless procession of professionals who call upon him, and,