Leading the Public

George C. Edwards

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

Leading the Public

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  • US Politics
  • Comparative Politics



Leading the public is at the core of the modern presidency. Gaining and maintaining office, obtaining support from an independently elected legislature, and increasing the party's representation in Congress depend on public opinion. The premise that the president has considerable potential to move the public is so widespread. The presidential public leadership is discussed in this article. The article also reports on different aspects of potentially leading the public through exploiting existing opinion. There are several means by which presidents might increase their chances of success in leading the public by exploiting existing public opinion. The rudimentary state of the understanding of public leadership may be an advantage to scholars of the presidency.

Keywords: public opinion; presidency; American president; public leadership; legislature

Article.  12409 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Comparative Politics

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