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The Forum

A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics

Ed. by Disalvo, Daniel / Stonecash, Jeffrey

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1540-8884
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Volume 8, Issue 3 (Oct 2010)

Issues

Obama's "Big Bang" Presidency

Steven E Schier
  • Carleton College
Published Online: 2010-10-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1540-8884.1392

Barack Obama’s large policy ambitions have made him a highly polarizing figure for Americans, just as his predecessor George W. Bush, also a person of grand ambitions, had been. Obama has pursued a “directive” presidency, in which the chief executive serves as the director of change, who creates opportunities to move in new directions and lead others where they otherwise would not go. One consequence of this is growing popular disapproval of Obama’s presidential agenda. Maintaining popular support is hard and frustrating work, and in seeking to maintain it, presidents encounter widespread constraints. Recent presidents in times of popular disapproval have resorted to emphatic employment of executive powers. In such a situation, a president, by unresponsively trying to direct events, can effectively destroy his popular support—the presidential power trap. That is the central threat to Obama’s presidency at present.

Keywords: Obama; presidency; 2010 election

About the article

Published Online: 2010-10-14



Citation Information: The Forum, ISSN (Online) 1540-8884, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1540-8884.1392. Export Citation

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