White House Correspondent for The New York Times, Peter Baker, Interviews Cambria Press Author Secretary Ray LaHood About His New Book, “Seeking Bipartisanship”

Ray LaHood New York Times Cambria Press author review publication book Bipartisanship

Read the article by Peter Baker, White House Correspondent for The New York Times, in which he interviews Cambria Press author Secretary Ray LaHood about his new book, Seeking Bipartisanship, which he coauthored with Dr. Frank H. Mackaman who heads The Dirksen Congressional Center.

Learn more about Seeking Bipartisanship.

ISBN: 9781604979053 · 360pp. (includes photos) · $29.95 – Buy the book.

Seeking Bipartisanship Ray LaHood Frank Mackaman Cambria Press publication author review

Cambria Press Publication: Seeking Bipartisanship by Ray LaHood with Frank Mackaman

This book is in the Cambria Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy in America (PIPPA) Series headed by Scott A. Frisch and Sean Q. Kelly.

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Presidents and Campaign Promises

Cambria Press Publication author review book political science politics POTUS

Cambria Press Publication:
The Quest for Leadership

In The Quest for Leadership, Meenekshi Bose, the Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies at Hofstra University and Director of Hofstra’s Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, stated that “Presidents are highly constrained in their ability to fulfill their campaign promises—they typically promise far more than they actually can deliver.”

Dr. Bose explores this further by comparing the initial policy making in the presidential administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Her study begins

“by examining the promises made by each candidate during their presidential campaigns for a signature domestic-policy issue. It then examines early agenda-setting and policy-making in each administration on that issue. While the focus is on the first year of each president’s two terms, the time period under study may be slightly more or less in specific cases, depending upon when the administration shifts focus from campaign promises to unexpected issues or crises, or the upcoming midterm congressional elections.”

The rest of Dr. Bose’s study is in The Quest for Leadership, edited by Michael A. Genovese. This new book also looks at other important aspects of leadership, including the successes and failures of US president, presidents as war-time leaders, public leadership, and the state of presidential leadership and authority. The book also reviews America’s standing as a world leader and reflects on American nationalism during World War II. Leadership in the judicial context, specifically chief justices, is also examined.

This book, inspired by the scholarship of eminent political scientist Thomas E. Cronin, was launched at the 2015 American Political Science Association (APSA) annual conference.

Order The Quest for Leadership now at the special price of $39.95.


Cambria Press Publication: The Quest for Leadership edited by Michael A. Genovese (this book is part of the Cambria Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy in America Book Series by Scott Frisch and Sean Kelly).

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#APSA2015 Meet Tom Cronin & Michael Genovese @CambriaPress Booth TODAY

#APSA2015 Cambria Press author publication Michael Genovese Thomas Cronin

#APSA2015 Cambria Press Booth (705) at 10 a.m. on Friday: Meet Thomas Cronin, Michael Genovese, and the authors behind The Quest for Leadership

Meet Thomas E. Cronin, Michael Genovese, and the authors behind The Quest for Leadership today at 10 a.m. at the Cambria Press booth (705) in the #APSA2015 book exhibit hall. You might be one of the lucky ones to get a complimentary, signed copy of this brand-new publication!

The book launch for The Quest for Leadership took place last night at the APSA Presidential and Executive Politics (PEP) reception. Authored by some of the nation’s top scholars and led by distinguished political scientist Michael A. Genovese, this publication honors eminent political scientist Thomas E. Cronin for his significant contributions to the fields of political science and leadership.

Cambria Press Publication:
The Quest for Leadership

Chapter 1: Hitting the Ground Running Twice (Meenekshi Bose

“The three case studies presented here illustrate some instructive parallels between the two presidencies. Both Bush and Obama succeeded in enacting one of their top policy priorities—education and health-care reform, respectively—early in their first terms by setting clear goals and negotiating with Congress to pass legislation. Bush engaged in bipartisan negotiations while Obama pursued intra-party negotiations, but both presidents were willing to make compromises to achieve results. In their second terms, though, both presidents did not have similar success with their policy agendas of Social Security reform for Bush and immigration reform for Obama. Why were they unable to hit the ground running again?”

Chapter 2: Leadership and the Tending of Coalitions (Bruce Miroff)

“Paying attention to the tending of coalitions is essential if one wishes to understand what shapes presidential purposes and drives presidential actions. Presidents pursuing strongly felt policy preferences are likely to temper their own aspirations with recognition of the need to incorporate the preferences of their most essential supporters. For cases in which presidents’ policy preferences are more prudential than personal, the preferences of coalition members are likely to assume an even greater role in executive choices. For the presidency, facing as it does such a wide-ranging array of policy concerns, the latter situation may well be more common than the former.”

Chapter 3: President as War-Time Leader (David Gray Adler)

“The trajectory of thought among modern presidents on the question of legal and constitutional limits on executive power, in either initiating war or conducting it, is a flat line. For more than a half century, presidents of both parties—Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals alike—have assumed the authority to initiate and direct war is exclusively executive in nature. That position, now firmly ingrained in presidential remarks at press conferences, in cabinet members’ testimony before congressional committees and in the opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel, has no footing in the text of the Constitution, the discussions and debates in the Constitutional Convention and the various state ratifying conventions, the Federalist Papers and other contemporaneous documents that accompanied the drafting and signing of the Constitution. Nor does the argument find any traction in opinions delivered by the US Supreme Court. We have reached a point in American history where presidents and their lawyers pay little or no heed to constitutional principles that, 200 years ago, sought to prevent presidential war-making. Indeed, the practice of war making in the United States today bears no resemblance to the Constitution.

Chapter 4: Reflections on the State of Presidential Leadership and Authority (Victoria A. Farrar-Myers)

“If norms, or shared understandings of expected behavior, continue to demand the exercise of presidential leadership after Obama leaves office, regardless of who holds the office of president, then the primary source of leadership within the American political system will remain entrenched in the White House. But if the understandings of expected presidential behavior cease to be shared widely, then the federal government may appear rudderless, both domestically and internationally, in the absence of Congress picking up the mantle of leadership; a situation with which we are all too familiar.

Chapter 5: Mistaking the Moment and Misperceiving the Opportunity (Lara M. Brown

“Neustadt argued that “Congress, institutionally, is suspicious” of the White House and that members compete “for control of the federal agencies, their programs, and their budgets.” Noting that the “courteous manners and procedural accommodations” are only temporary, he implied that the legislative alliances formed in those first heady months are more fragile than they appear because of these politicians’ differing constituencies and electoral demands. As such, presidents expecting enduring loyalty from fellow partisans in Congress, according to Neustadt’s observations, are likely to be disappointed. Beyond all of these issues, partisan polarization marks every aspect of today’s politics. From an electorate less likely to look past party labels and cast split tickets to the vastly different presidential approval ratings that vary by party affiliation to the nontrivial levels of fear and loathing of opposition partisans that are measured in surveys, American politics have become more than a team sport. Each day seems to be a rivalry grudge match. Not unlike the iconic Hatfield and McCoy feud, distrust and suspicion are pervasive between the parties. Negotiations are fraught with irrational, spiteful, and petty behaviors. Rhetoric and optics now seem to trump accomplishments. In sum, doing matters less than posturing. Posturing for what? Why the next election, of course.”

Chapter 6: Presidents Bush and Obama and the Surveillance of Americans (James P. Pfiffner

“Since the atrocities of 9/11, the US intelligence community has vastly expanded in size and scope; and with the growth of the internet, the technological capacity of the US government to collect information and communications of US citizens has increased exponentially. President George W. Bush initially authorized surveillance of Americans without the warrants required in law, based on his claimed inherent Article II powers. Congress later included some of these surveillance programs in law. President Obama, before he came to office, expressed some criticism about the Bush programs and wanted to place limits on government surveillance of Americans. But once he was in office, he embraced existing surveillance programs as necessary to protect US national security. When the extent of some of these programs was unveiled by Edward Snowden in the summer of 2013, people concerned with civil liberties expressed alarm at the scope of these programs.”

Chapter 7: Leading the Public/ Following the Public (Todd L. Belt)

“The president is the most visible politician in the US, and much has been made of his ability to influence public opinion. From advocating for certain policies, to leading the country to war, to consoling the nation during times of crises, the president is the nation’s foremost political communicator. But he can only lead the nation so far, and sometimes his efforts have been resisted by the public at large. For example, in 2006, George W. Bush suffered defeats in advocating for Social Security and Immigration reform; and in 2013, Barack Obama was forced to backpedal from his advocacy of an intervention in the Syrian civil war. These failures in public leadership come against the backdrop of a changing communication environment as well as a changing political climate. Does the emergence of online communication help or hinder the president’s attempts at public leadership? Does this new technology force the president to respond to follow public opinion rather than to lead it? What role does increased political polarization have on the president’s ability to lead the public?”

Chapter 8: America’s World Leadership (David C. Hendrickson)

“The strategy of revolutionary overthrow—as recently witnessed in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine—is just one of the things wrong with American foreign policy, and retrenchment on that score would by no means solve all of America’s problems. But it is a start. Reflection on the purposes of American power has to begin with the choice between contrary precedents, of which the most dramatic is that between Richard Nixon in 1973 and George Bush in 2005. All questions of leadership are ultimately dependent on the worthiness of the ends that leaders seek: if the goal is misconceived, then no marshalling of allies or subtle changes in means will salvage it. Americans should appreciate their heritage of world leadership, but they should also query it. In past epochs, American leaders entertained a more modest conception of the nation’s role. They held fast to a vision of world order that has been practically abandoned in recent years. To move forward in the future, Americans need to claw their way back to the past in search of useful precedents to guide them.”

Chapter 9: Leadership in the Judicial Context (Christopher Shortell)

“Leadership is often studied through the lens of executive and legislative contexts. The judiciary has not received the same attention, which is unfortunate because understanding leadership in the judiciary requires more than simply applying existing leadership studies to judges. Studying judicial leadership requires paying careful attention to the particular institutional contexts within which judges work. The constraints and opportunities are distinct in important ways from those faced by executives and legislatures. This is not to say that leadership is unimportant in the judicial context or that existing studies of leadership do not recognize the importance of institutional constraints. Rather, it is to argue that understanding judicial leadership requires scholars to pay careful attention to when and how that leadership can emerge and operate in its particular context.”

Chapter 11: I Am an American Day (David Schmitz

“With war on the horizon, the change of focus from citizenship to wartime mobilization and the proper role of the United States in the war were reflected in the I Am an American Day events held throughout the nation. They became more about the contrast between the United States and the fascist nations, about what was necessary to protect American freedom and liberty now and in the future, than civics lessons and ceremonies on naturalization and good citizenship. Simultaneously, the crowds soared as millions of people participated across the nation.”

This book is part of the Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy in America (PIPPA) book series  (Editors: Scott Frisch and Sean Kelly). See more well-reviewed books in the Cambria Press PIPPA Series.

About the editor: Michael A. Genovese holds the Loyola Chair of Leadership Studies, and he is Professor of Political Science, Director of the Institute for
Leadership Studies, and acting President of the World Policy Institute at
Loyola Marymount University.

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Tough Times for the President

Cambria Press Publication review author #APSA2015 #POTUS

#APSA2015 Tough Times for the Presidency by Ryan Barilleaux and Jewerl Maxwell

Cambria Press publication

Tough Times for the President
(Chapter Excerpts)

Chapter 1: Presidents in Tough Times

“Many presidents face situations of political adversity. Some even face adversity on more than one occasion. The case studies will enhance our understanding not only of the power of the presidency but of how chief executives have been able to deal with adversity. Even the adverse circumstances faced by Barack Obama in 2011, or those that some future president will encounter, do not fall to the depths experienced by Gerald Ford, and examining this record will be instructive for chief executives and their advisors seeking a way to grapple with tough times for the president.”

Chapter 2: Governing in the Wake of an Unmandate

“What is an unmandate? The term applies to those situations in which voters repudiate the chief executive by punishing the president’s party in a midterm election. Though it is usually the case that the president’s party loses seats in a midterm election, in an unmandate the president’s party suffers exceptionally high losses. The clearest case of an unmandate is when the president’s party, holding a majority in both houses of  Congress, is reduced to minority status in the House and/or the Senate. In the period since World War II, this repudiation occurred five times: 1946, 1954, 1994, 2006, and 2010. The presidents affected by these unmandates faced congressional majorities eager to resist White House legislative initiatives and advance their own policy agendas.”

Chapter 3: Scandals and Presidential Power

“Within a twenty-five-year period, American politics witnessed three presidents plagued by scandals and cover-ups of actions taken by the respective presidents and/or their subordinates. In each case, we find that the periods of scandal presented the particular president with unique challenges in his interaction with other governmental officials, the media, and the American people. Again, as Ceaser so aptly suggested, scandals place “the Presidency on the defensive in the eyes of the nation” and thus significantly weaken the president. In spite of this weakened position, the cases of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton demonstrate that presidents do not become politically paralyzed by such circumstances. In particular, each case illustrates the extremely important role of unilateral actions, both domestically and internationally.”

Chapter 4: Governing in Times of National Division

“[…] periods of national division pose particular difficulties for chief executives. In such cases, presidents face not only divisions within the electorate at large but divisions within their own party, as the nation remains divided over the proper policies to combat instability within the political system. During such periods, political and economic factors combine to place pressure on the president that hinders his ability to lead effectively. Examples include the obstacles Lyndon Johnson faced throughout 1967 and 1968 as the country sought direction regarding the Vietnam War; the extreme difficulties Jimmy Carter encountered throughout 1979 and 1980, resulting from the weakened economy and the Iranian hostage crisis; and the impediments George H. W. Bush met in 1992 as the country faced a looming recession.”

Chapter 5: Adversity and Power in the Ford Presidency

“Gerald Ford’s presidency was marked by a rare degree of political adversity. He came to office as the successor to the disgraced Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign in the face of threatened impeachment over the Watergate scandal. Ford had been an unelected vice president, the first appointed to that office under the provisions of the Twenty-fifth Amendment. He faced a Congress controlled by Democratic majorities, which were enlarged in the 1974 midterm elections only a few months after he assumed office. Following his pardon of Richard Nixon in September 1974, Ford’s approval ratings plummeted and he faced cries of outrage over the pardon. He even faced dissension within his own party as conservatives led by Ronald Reagan challenged his policies and leadership.”

Chapter 6: Tough Times Point to a New View of Presidential Power

“As analysts consider presidential ends and means, they need to develop a kind of “golden rule” for understanding the presidency: one that they are willing to grant to their enemies as well as their heroes. The best place to begin that understanding is the Constitution. Of course, there is considerable debate about constitutional interpretation, but that is a fact of politics and does not mean that there is no ground for agreement about most constitutional issues. Debates about the fringes of the Constitution— certain actions that both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have taken in the war on terrorism, for example—obscure the fact that there is a broad consensus on what is constitutional presidential action.”

This book is part of the Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy in America (PIPPA) book series  (Editors: Scott Frisch and Sean Kelly). See more well-reviewed books in the Cambria Press PIPPA Series.

About the authors: 
Ryan J. Barilleaux is Paul Rejai Professor of Political Science at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Jewerl Maxwell is Associate Dean of the Center for Lifelong Learning and an assistant professor of political science at Cedarville University.

Order the hardcover by October 13 (1st Democratic Presidential Debate)
and get 30% off + Free Shipping!
Use coupon code APSA2015.
Libraries can use this code. Valid only for publisher-direct sales.

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President Barack Obama and Immigration: Yes, he can?

Barack Obama Immigration filibuster

“Barack Obama runs a red light” – The Economist

The Economist has just reported on President Barack Obama’s highly anticipated speech last night, with the article titled “Barack Obama runs a red light.” Did he? And if so, can he? And has this been done before?

According to Ryan Barilleaux and Jewerl Maxwell: “Presidents make a variety of substantive decisions and issue executive orders, directives, proclamations, and—with growing frequency—signing statements. To stifle attempts—usually from Congress—to inhibit unilateral or other executive actions, presidents also invoke executive privilege to withhold information and usually meet with success. Indeed, the use of prerogative power has been a characteristic feature of the postmodern presidency (the period from Ronald Reagan forward), and presidential unilateralism flows from several sources” (Tough Times for the President, p. 13).

It should also be noted that earlier Republican President “Bush was also unable to win congressional approval for an immigration reform plan. Earlier in his presidency, different proposals had been passed by the House and Senate, but none was able to win support by both chambers. When the Democrats assumed the majority on Capitol Hill, some observers thought Bush would be able to work out a compromise with Congress. But a bipartisan bill on the issue—the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act—failed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate in June 2007. At this point Bush called on senators to give the bill a chance, and the measure was taken up for consideration later that month. Despite his efforts, however, opposition to the bill’s provision of a path to citizenship for immigrants already in the United States illegally led to its defeat.” (p.74)

There is no question that what lies ahead for President Obama and his 2016 are Tough Times and there will be considerable Filibustering in the U.S. Senate going down.

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Visit the Cambria Press website and learn more about these books and others in PIPPA (Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy in America) series by Scott Frisch and Sean Kelly.

#BarackObama #immigration #filibuster #Congress



Why is Africa important to the rest of the world?

President Barack Obama recently declared that the future stability of the world depends on African nations’ prosperity and self-reliance. Reinforcing this is Toyin Falola, leading authority in African studies, who stated that “scholars and policy makers have the obligation to show Africa and the world how to succeed.” This is why African studies continues to grow as a critical field and why Dr. Falola has launched the Cambria African Studies Series with Dr. Moses Ochonu (Vanderbilt University). This interdisciplinary series provides a much-needed platform for original studies which both illuminate and critique existing and emerging forms of geopolitical organization in Africa, whether these are nation-states, national imaginations and claims, and movements for self-determination. The editors are interested in studies which shed light on the overarching question of development (human, economic, social, cultural, etc.) and its symbiotic or fraught relationship with old and new political realities on the continent. Both editors will be at the 2014 African Studies Association annual meeting participating at the various sessions (see the ASA program)

#Africa #AfricanStudies #Africanist #ToyinFalola #MosesOchonu

African Cambria Press academic publisher

Toyin Falola, Jacob & Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and University Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas at Austin; and general editor, Cambria African Studies Series

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President Obama’s reaction to the Ferguson situation by Ryan Barilleaux and Jewerl Maxwell, authors of Tough Times for the President

Obama Ferguson

President Lyndon Johnson in a meeting with civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr.

The following is a commentary on President Obama’s reaction to the Ferguson situation by Ryan Barilleaux and Jewerl Maxwell, authors of Tough Times for the President, who discuss the lessons which can be gleaned from past presidents.

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The current civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, has led many to recall the racial animosity that spread throughout the United States in 1967. In his text Guns or Butter: The Presidency of Lyndon Johnson, political scientist Irving Berstein argued, “Not since the 1850s had a chief executive confronted domestic turmoil on this scale” (p. 410). As explained in Tough Times for the President, twenty-four racially motivated riots spread throughout twenty-three cities in 1967. In July 1967, President Johnson responded with Executive Order 11364, which resulted in 4,700 federal troops being sent to Detroit and Executive Order 11365, which established the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (commonly referred to as the Kerner Commission) to investigate race riots across the country.

Not to diminish the current situation in Ferguson, but the numbers referenced above alone illustrate how President Johnson encountered a significantly greater adverse set of circumstances than President Obama presently faces. As such, it should come as no surprise that President Obama’s response has been much more subdued. Thus far, President Obama’s response has largely been rhetorical, but he now must choose if direct federal action is necessary. As we have argued, “Presidents must decide when and how to apply their power resources to gain leverage in specific contexts, and those decisions are made by weighing the risks, obstacles, and opportunities of action or inaction” (p. 275). As the nation’s first African American president, President Obama no doubt feels the pressure to respond appropriately in the wake of racial unrest, but he also must realize the need for “situational leverage” as we outlined in Tough Times for the President. The current situation is one in which violence has not spread throughout the country, and at a time when immigration reform, violence in the Middle East, and a major midterm election is about to take place. Consequently, the present political and social climate illustrates that presidential power is indeed a matter of situational leverage. President Obama’s leverage is a function of constitutional/legal, institutional, political, and personal resources that can be applied to his goals, but he continues to weigh the risks, obstacles, and opportunities presented to him in the current context.

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See Tough Times for the President at #APSA2014 or browse it online now using the Cambria Press Free Preview Tool. Check out the #APSA2014 book highlights too.

This book is in the Cambria Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy in America (PIPPA) Series by Scott Frisch and Sean Kelly.

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