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Politics and campaign leadership

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1. What is the relationship between a president's leadership style in office and his/her campaign style? Explain your answer.

2. Many people feel that there is room for improvement in the area of campaign finance spending. What is the current status of campaign finance reform? Is reform a realistic expectation of the American political process? What is the role of soft money?

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Solution Summary

The solution provides answers,information and guidance in putting together 2 essays that correspond to each of the questions (see above) on the topic of campaign and leadership politics. Resources are listed for further exploration if the topic.A word version is also attached.

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Leadership & Campaign Style

What is the relationship between leadership style and campaign styles of politicians, most especially US Presidents? Can people safely assume that the candidate they see on the campaign trail is the true embodiment and representation of the leader should the candidate triumph in the elections? On the campaign trail, candidates and their political machinery move to put their best foot forward - it is always a question of image creation and public opinion. In the world of modern marketing, campaigns are all about creating a 'brand' and an image and that brand must be something that the voters must identify with. Candidates and their campaign managers assess strategies to get people's attention therefore what they say and do is carefully planned to craft an attractive image, one that is relevant to the voters to get them as much votes as possible to be the one 'first past the post' vs. other challengers. An election is a contest and the campaign trail is where this contest is fought. With that in mind, can we really say that the campaign styles of presidential candidates imply or give us a view of their leadership styles?

While noting the marketing efforts of their campaign machinery, we also see how the candidates perform in the debates, in open forums, in the speeches they give, how they relate to people, how they manage their election staff and how they deal with criticisms and intrigues in the unavoidable mud-slinging episodes so common in modern-day elections. So yes, we get a glimpse of the kind of 'leader' they are not in what they say but in those situations and events that they 'act' outside of their campaign script. Consider for example the candidacy of Republican Presidential Nominee contender Michelle Bachman. Her campaign style is rooted in the ideology of the tea party but her personality is difficult to pin down, she changes her ideas and her positions if a particular venue demands it and this has placed a strain in her campaign team, especially in relation to strategy. She is actively politicking and mud-slinging to get the better of other hopefuls like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Some of her campaign staff have resigned and this doesn't paint a good picture of a well-managed campaign. If she is the leader central in her campaign bid, then questions about her management and leadership skills beg to be asked. But performance on the campaign trail cannot assure translation in the oval office. Consider for example Pres. Obama's campaign. A good speaker, his speeches were moving. He promised change which is what the voters wanted to hear. He promised action on issues that concerned the majority. In the campaign trail, he electrified the voters and many found themselves voting for him in the belief that he will instigate 'change'.

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  • MPhil/PhD (IP), Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • MA, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Certificate, Geva Ulpan (via Universita Tel Aviv)
  • BA, University of the Philippines
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