I now review the theme of presidential leadership throughout the policy-making process and analyze its contribution to policy change. Actors inside and outside of government are interested in the impact of policies, but they also contribute to that impact. Their interventions make a difference in the final shape policies take. Issue content is also important in differentiating policy impact. How have the issues and roles of actors changed over the years? How closely do civil rights policy outcomes correspond with earlier goals and other stages in the policy-making process? Evaluation is the examination of these varied results but is the least well-understood stage. A stimulus-response model and case analysis help in this assessment of policy impact.
The chapter organization of this book follows the policy-making process, which is roughly analogous to the stimulus-response model, adapted as statements, actions, and results ( Ripley and Franklin 1975). Statements usually can be equated with agenda setting and the initiation of public policy. Often, statements may be vague and symbolic, but they do contain specific policy preferences and recommendations. The data suggest the presidential role is preeminent here. Statements do vary by presidents and are related to subsequent actions and results.