Public Expectations of the President

Dennis M. Simon

in The Oxford Handbook of the American Presidency

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199238859
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

Public Expectations of the President

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  • Politics
  • US Politics
  • Comparative Politics



This article presents a diverse body of research to examine the origin and development, the content, and the consequences of public expectations. It starts by describing on image-based expectations and the idealization of the presidency. The discussion then turns to performance-based expectations and the responsibilities imposed on occupants of the modern presidency. Furthermore, the article provides an assessment of existing research and identifies the questions most likely to animate future research on what the American public expects of its presidents. There are three consequences created by the idealization of the president in American politics and culture. The study of what the public expects of its presidents consists of two conversations. The first is academic and involves a conversation, members of the academy who study the relationship between the president and the mass public. The second is about expectations occurs in the ‘public square’.

Keywords: presidency; American president; American public; mass public; public square

Article.  11702 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Comparative Politics

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