Presidents are uniquely positioned to promote themselves and their polices directly to the public. Using sympathetic crowds as a backdrop, a president can rally public opinion to his side, along the way delivering a subtle yet unmistakable message to his intended audience in Congress. Samuel Kernell shows how “going public” remains a potent weapon in the president’s arsenal, both for advancing his own agenda and blocking initiatives from his political adversaries in Congress.
In his highly anticipated fourth edition, Kernell delivers thorough analysis and detailed background on how this strategy continues to evolve given the intense polarization of Congress and the electorate as well as changes in communications technology. He considers the implications of both factors—especially in combination—on the future of presidential leadership and weighs the lessons of 9/11 on “going public” in foreign affairs.