1st Edition

The Obama Presidency
Change and Continuity

ISBN 9780415887717
Published June 28, 2011 by Routledge
256 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

At his inauguration, President Barack Obama was seemingly poised to become America's strongest and most influential president since Ronald Reagan. However, President Obama's first two years in office has led to some notable surprises. What accounts for the political stability and change demonstrated by the Obama administration? Which factors shaping a presidency are structural, which are personal, and which are driven by events? How will decisions made in the first two years of the administration affect its future course? What lessons can we glean from past presidencies?

This timely volume of notable thinkers on the presidency presents scholarly as well as applied insights on Obama’s administration at the half-way point. Assessing the political context of his first two years, the inter-branch relations, and policy developments all provide the necessary grounding for students to make sense of the continuity and change that Barack Obama represents.

Table of Contents

Part One: The Setting 1. Barack Obama: A Reagan of the Left? Andrew Dowdle, Dirk C. van Raemdonck, and Robert Maranto 2. Making Race Go Away President Obama and the Promise of a Post-Racial Society Wilbur C. Rich 3. Presidential Leadership and Public Opinion in an Age of Polarization Jeffrey E. Cohen and Costas Panagopoulos Part Two: Managing the Executive Branch 4. The Obama Cabinet: A Team of Rivals or Pragmatic Governance? Shirley Anne Warshaw 5. Presidential Appointments in the Obama Administration: An Early Evaluation David E. Lewis 6. President Barack Obama, Unilateralist Christopher S. Kelley, Melanie Cook Marlowe, and Ryan J. Barilleaux 7. Continuity and Change in White House Communications: President Obama Meets the Press Martha Joynt Kumar Part Three: Managing Relations with the Other Branches 8. No Place for a Community Organizer: Barack Obama’s Leadership of Congress Justin S. Vaughn 9. Beyond Two Terms: Shaping the Supreme Court and a Legacy Richard L. Pacelle, Jr. Part Four: Managing Policies 10. Economic Policymaking During the Great Recession Ted Gayer 11. President Obama’s Health Care Reform: The Inevitable Impossible Mark Carl Rom 12. President Obama and Education: The Personal and the Political Robert Maranto and Michael Q. McShane 13. Fighting Two Wars Lawrence J. Korb and Laura Conley Part Five: At the End of the Beginning: Judging President Obama 14. Barack Obama's First Two Years: Policy Accomplishments, Political Failure William A. Galston

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Andrew Dowdle is the editor of the American Review of Politics and the Vice-Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Arkansas.

Dirk C. van Raemdonck is Graduate Coordinator and Chief of Staff at the Department of Education Reform, University of Arkansas.

Robert Maranto is the 21st Century Chair in Leadership at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, and previously taught political science at Villanova University.


"The Obama Presidency: Change and Continuity is a timely volume in which leading experts in the field detail the trials and successes of President Obama’s first two years in office. The book’s accessible blend of scholarly findings with recent developments in presidential politics makes it an outstanding choice for undergraduate courses on the American presidency."
Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha, University of North Texas

"Are we in the beginning stages of an Obama regime or is the Obama presidency, like Clinton's, a brief disruption in an enduring Reagan era? The Obama Presidency: Change and Continuity addresses this question with first-rate scholarship from a variety of vantage points. This is an extremely worthwhile and accessible volume that is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate courses on the presidency and political leadership."
David Holian, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"The Obama Presidency is a concise evaluation of the Obama administration at midterm by a stellar group of presidential scholars and policy experts. This book provides a kaleidoscopic view of the structural, political, and policy constraints that have resulted in more continuity than change from a president whose candidacy raised expectations of transformational leadership, only to be dashed by practical governing realities and fateful political choices that would make deep changes in process and policy far less possible. An excellent reader for Presidency and American government courses."
Nancy Kassop, SUNY New Paltz