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Presidential Power

Evaluate the power of the of President Obama in light of Leif Ellington's book review of noted presidential scholar Richard Neudstadt's classic study Presidential Power. What does Neustadt regard as the primary ingredients of presidential power and based on these ingredients can President Barack Obama be described as a powerful president?

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Dear Student:

This is a great question and an interesting topic. I have read both Neustadt and Ellington's short review. Here are the basic issues:

The most important thing to notice is that Neustadt holds that presidential power is not based on his actual Constitutional office. His power is less formal, more about influence than actual , legal, executive power.

1. The president is seen first of all as a persuader. This is not an institutional role. In fact, the main issues that Neustadt brings up are NOT institutional. In other words, they do not derive from the executive branch's Constitutional power or prerogatives. This is probably THE area where Obama dominates. He is a good speaker and has an excellent public presence. His race is always in the forefront, and the fact that he is half black might, in many people's eyes, give him extra power and credibility.

2. The president is, ...

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The solution provides information, assistance and advice in tackling the problem (see above), on the topic of Presidential powers and powerful presidencies.

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