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The Politics of the Presidency

The Politics of the Presidency
Revised 10th Edition

Tenth Edition

November 2021 | 768 pages | CQ Press
Get the most up-to-date coverage and analysis of the presidency.

Never losing sight of the foundations of the office, The Politics of the Presidency maintains a balance between historical context and contemporary scholarship on the executive branch, providing a solid foundation for any presidency course. In this Revised Tenth Edition, bestselling authors Joseph A. Pika, John Anthony Maltese, and Andrew Rudalevige present a thorough analysis of the change and continuity following the November 2020 presidential election and Biden administration.

Tables and Figures
About the Authors
Chapter 1 The Changing Presidency
The Scope of Presidential Power

Expansion of the Presidency

Popular Expectations

Conclusion: The Changeable, Political Presidency

Chapter 2 Election Politics
Evolution of the Selection Process

Defining the Pool of Eligibles

Competing for the Nomination

The National Convention

The General Election


Conclusion: Transitions to Governing

Chapter 3 Public Politics
Public Attitudes toward the Presidency

Rallying Public Support

Conclusion: The Permanent Campaign

Chapter 4 Presidential Character and Performance
Determinants and Evaluations of Performance

What Manner of Person?

Psychological Characteristics of U.S. Presidents

Management Styles of Modern Presidents

Understanding Presidents: Donald J. Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr

Conclusion: Seeking Presidential Success

Chapter 5 Legislative Politics
Three Confrontations in Interbranch Relations

Development of the President’s Legislative Role

The Presidential–Congressional Relationship

The President’s Formal Legislative Powers

The President’s Informal Legislative Influence

Explaining Presidents’ Legislative Success

Congressional Oversight

Conclusion: Legislating Together

Chapter 6 Executive Politics
The President as Executive

The President and the Executive Branch

The President and the Cabinet

The Vice President

The First Lady (soon First Spouse)

Presidential Control of the Bureaucracy

Presidential Management of the Bureaucracy

Conclusion: The Frustrating Search for Control

Chapter 7 Judicial Politics
Presidential Appointment of Federal Judges

Other Presidential Influences on the Federal Courts

Judicial Oversight of Presidential Action

Conclusion: A Balancing Act

Chapter 8 The Politics of Domestic Policy
The Domestic Policy Process

The Domestic Policy Environment

The Domestic Policy Apparatus

Conclusion: Providing Policy Leadership

Chapter 9 The Politics of Economic Policy
Macroeconomic Policy

Microeconomic Policy

Presidents and the Economy: 1933–2021

The Economic Subpresidency

Presidents and Economic Policy Coordination

Congress’s Role in Macroeconomic Policy

Conclusion: Avoiding Economic Disorder

Chapter 10 The Politics of National Security Policy
Issues in National Security Policy: Search for a New Consensus

The Problem with National Security Policymaking

The President, Congress, and National Security

Organizing and Managing National Security

Conclusion: Limiting the Exercise of Power

Chapter 11 Joseph R. Biden Jr.: Transition to Power and First Hundred Days

The Inauguration

The First Hundred Days

Conclusion: Prospects for the Biden Presidency

Key features


  • Closer Look at Ethics - An expanded section on presidential ethics and removal in light of the storming of the U.S. Capitol and the second Trump impeachment.
  • Revised and Updated for the 2020 Elections - Full incorporation of 2020 election data throughout the chapter including the competition for the Democrats' nomination; distinctive features of a social distancing campaign and conventions; and the electoral college results reversing outcomes of the 2016 election.
  • Updated Look at Judicial Appointments - A full discussion of Trump's federal judicial appointments, including his three Supreme Court picks and a preliminary look at Biden's approach to judicial appointments.
  • Detailed Coverage of Economic Struggles - Full discussion of how Trump, Biden and Congress responded to the economic challenges posed by the COVID Recession a decade after the Great Recession as well as an expanded discussion of President Trump's crusade against regulation and the incorporation of Biden's personnel choices to staff the organizations responsible for economic policy.
  • NEW Chapter 11 provides an account both of the Trump legacy and how Biden has reacted to it. This chapter traces the numerous distractions to the Biden transition presented by the aftermath of the 2020 campaign, Trump’s refusal to accept its results, the January special elections in Georgia, and the Capitol insurrection and Trump’s subsequent second impeachment. It provides details on Biden’s transition process and inauguration, followed by his first 100 days in office.
  • NEW Learning Objectives give a detailed look at what students should be taking away from each chapter.
  • Full Coverage of 2020, from social movements and the economy, to COVID and the 2020 elections, this edition is thoroughly revised to cover the issues the executive office has covered in 2020 and the first half of 2021.  
  • "Web Resources" sections offer readers an opportunity to pursue topics of interest.
  • A balanced assessment of all men who have held this central office enable readers to think critically about each president’s records of success and failure, disappointment and surprise.

For instructors

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