If there is one book to read to follow and make sense of the 2016 presidential election, it is Dr. Lara M. Brown’s Jockeying for the American Presidency. In her groundbreaking book, Dr. Brown called long ago what pundits are saying today.
For example, Dr. Brown already predicted that
“the presidential selection method does not appear to be working as it had in the past—in terms of favoring experienced aspirants—and this may be a cause for concern.”
She also noted that “there has been a decrease in the level of experience, which may well continue to worsen over time.”
In terms of who would win, she first explained that:
“Aspirants not only vie for intraparty support, but they also compete against those whom they believe are aspirants from the opposition party, trying to prove that their party is the better of the two. Hoping to garner support from weakly aligned voters and groups connected to the opposition party (religious, racial, and ethnic groups have often been the targets of interparty competition), they steal each other’s phrases and policies, reworking them to suit their own needs.”
The ones likely to win their party nominations are the ones who:
“tend to perceive the entirety of the game—the opportunities in the system—and they work continuously to align their short-term interests (e.g., party influence, appreciation, and/or respect) with their long-term goals (e.g., the presidency), moving the puzzle pieces to fit with their ideal picture.”
On whether breadth or depth of experience is more important, and why:
“breadth is an asset, whereas depth is a liability for presidential aspirants. As was mentioned earlier, it may be that depth of experience promotes rigidity because an aspirant is forced to react to fewer challenges and greater redundancies, whereas more breadth of experience encourages more flexibility and resiliency because an aspirant is asked to react to novelty and competition. It may also be that those who are more innately opportunistic—perceptive, creative, adaptable—self-select into more positions, thus pursuing more breadth and less depth in their careers.”
Ultimately, Dr. Brown asserted in her book that:
“Presidential aspirants who have more breadth of political experience than depth of political experience, who have higher levels of opportunism, and who have run previously for the White House are more likely to earn larger percentages of the electoral votes than those who do not possess these characteristics.”
Learn more about Jockeying for the American Presidency and read the rave reviews this book has earned. This book is part of the groundbreaking Cambria Press PIPPA (Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy in America) Series headed by Scott Frisch and Sean Kelly (CSU Channel Islands).
About the author: Lara M. Brown, PhD, is an associate professor and the program director of the Political Management Program in the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University. Dr. Brown also served in President William J. Clinton’s administration at the U.S. Department of Education. Follow her on Twitter @LaraMBrownPHD and on US News.
See the Cambria Press website for more books.