The Executive, the Magistrate, and the Maverick
2. Presidential Management Models
2 Presidential Management Models
Since the late-1940s several attempts have been made to try to provide the president with the institutional support required for formulating and coordinating policy more efficiently. It is commonly accepted that presidents should have access to a broad array of policy perspectives which can help them understand and systematically evaluate the complex political environment such that the most appropriate decisions regarding a specific policy may be derived. A president can turn to his advisors for many reasons – e.g., to satisfy cognitive needs and provide emotional support, understanding and support for decisions, and political legitimacy (George, 1981; ’t Hart, Stern, and Sundelius, 1997). However, advisors are particularly important as sources of information and advice which support policy decisions.1
Most presidential scholars will agree that those individuals “who have expertise, authority, or implementation responsibilities must have a way to get their judgments to the president, or the president will act from an incomplete understanding of the implications of the policy decision” (Pfiffner, 2009: 364). Besides providing the president with the necessary information and analysis regarding the possible alternatives and potential implications of a policy decision, advisors are also crucial in making sure that the president is not overwhelmed by a surge of data and competing proposals. As Andrew Rudalevige (2005) has pointed out, time and cognitive capacity limit the amount of practical information on any given issue a president can receive and process. Therefore, it is up to the president’s staff to help organize...
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