In this chapter, the authors argues that presidents can lead by adopting strategies that involve both direction and responsiveness to public opinion. Presidents can use their resources, including formal authority, to formulate workable government policies that respond in part to the public’s wishes; they can then use the visibility of their office to mobilize public support for particular courses of action. Based on the limited evidence available so far, this chapter examines the extent to which President Bill Clinton responded to and attempted to direct the American public during his first year in office. Although the authors have not systematically studied Clinton’s two predecessors, George Bush succeeded in directing public opinion in foreign affairs, and on taking office Ronald Reagan directed the nation in a conservative direction on economic and social issues against a substantially more liberal public opinion.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Clinton Presidency|
|Subtitle of host publication||Campaigning, Governing, and The Psychology of Leadership|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||20|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2019|