"Presidential government is an illusion. It is an image that misleads presidents no less than the media and the American public." Thus begins this realistic look at the presidency, in which nine leading presidential scholars examine how and why we are under the illusion of presidential government and ask such questions as: What is the president's actual role? What has happened to his traditional tools of executive leadership? How is the office of the president organized to deal with domestic, economic, and national security affairs? is federal regulation an area of potential power for the president? And, if "presidential government" is indeed a myth, what can be done to help the presidency play a more effective part in constitutional government? Each chapter probes a different facet of the image of presidential government by looking at the major operations of the modern presidency-from struggles with Congress for control of administrative detail to problems of managing the economy and national security. The book closes with the final report of the National Academy of Public Administration's Panel on Presidential Management. Not surprisingly, the authors do not always agree; nevertheless, they are united in the view that the managerial role of the president must be seen as a whole-and without illusions.
Also of Interest -- Preface -- Introduction: The Presidential Illusion -- The Unwritten Constitution -- Congress and the President in the Administrative Process: The Uneasy Alliance -- The Presidential Office: Velvet Fist in an Iron Glove -- Process Management -- The Problem of Presidential Budgeting -- The Paradox of Presidential Personnel Management -- Federal Regulation: A New Arena for Presidential Power? -- Policy Management -- The Presidency and Domestic Policy Formulation -- The President and Economic Policy: Problems, Patterns, and Alternatives -- National Security I: Inventing a Process (1945–1960) -- National Security II: The Rise of the Assistant (1961–1981) -- Conclusion: Beyond the Presidential Illusion—Toward a Constitutional Presidency -- A Presidency for the 1980s: A Report by a Panel of the National Academy of Public Administration