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The Partisan Presidency

Richard M. Skinner, Williams College

Abstract

Political scientists have tended to see the powerful presidency of the 20th and the 21st centuries as being the enemy of strong political parties. But over the past quarter century, presidents – most notably Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush – have been following a more partisan path. They have been relying on their parties more for support, both in Congress and in the electorate, seeking greater partisan control over the executive branch, and even using the media more to mobilize the base than to reach swing voters. We need to move beyond outdated notions of presidents above party politics and instead understand presidents who are passionately engaged in them, and seek to use their parties as tools of governance.

Suggested Citation

Richard M. Skinner. "The Partisan Presidency" Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Meeting (2006).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/richard_skinner/4