American Presidency and Political Time Book Review by Quality Writers

American Presidency and Political Time
An analysis of Stephen Skowronek's theory of presidential leadership and political time in his book "The Politics Presidents Make", applied to the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq.
# 102461 | 3,330 words | 11 sources | APA | 2008 | US

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This paper examines the concept of presidential leadership and the theory of political time delineated in Stephen Skowronek's "The Politics Presidents Make". The idea of political time means first that the given president is situated at different points in the life-cycle of a given political regime and, second, that presidents stand in different relation to the dominant political regime and its "regime party." The paper also focuses on what Skowronek calls "orthodox-innovators", or leaders whose actions are strongly influenced by the ulterior motives of his regime. The paper considers how this applies to the current war in Iraq and to the actions of George W. Bush in taking the U.S. into that war. It concludes that this issue has been much argued since the start of that war and will continue to be discussed far into the future, not simply until the war ends but long after as historians and others seek to understand the rationale for this war.

Political Time
Political Regime
The Orthodox-Innovator

From the Paper:

"Skowronek identifies the orthodox-innovator as a "faithful son," meaning not a son of a political leader but a son of a political party, movement, or regime that shapes the faithful son's political leanings and career. These are also the presidents who are associated with "a resilient set of governmental commitments" (Skowronek 41). The presidents considered here all fit the mold, meaning James Monroe, James K. Polk, Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. All emerged from a political tradition they could be expected to support and yet that they in part denied as they pursued their little wars, often in order to assert American power not just to other countries but domestically as well, supposedly correcting earlier failures to do so and thus affirming the strengths their followers want supported, or doing so to counter charges by the opposition of weakness. It is considered less surprising when a Republican president affirms American power by engaging in a military action, for instance, while a Democratic president might do so just to show that the view that Democratic leaders are not able to handle the need for a military response."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Amin, S. "The Real Stakes in the Gulf War." Monthly Review (July-August 1991), 14-20.
  • Bromley, S. American Hegemony and World Oil. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991.
  • "Bush Touts Tax Cuts, Defends Iraq Invasion." Wisconsin State Journal (19 Aug 2004). March 9, 2007.
  • Darnovsky, M., L.A. Kauffman, and B. Robinson. "What Will This War Mean?" In M.L. Sifry and C. Cerf (eds.), The Gulf War Reader. New York: Random House, 1991.
  • Dentzer, Susan, "Tallying the Cost of the War," U.S. News & World Report (March 11, 1991), pp. 52-53.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

American Presidency and Political Time (2008, March 25) Retrieved October 01, 2023, from

MLA Format

"American Presidency and Political Time" 25 March 2008. Web. 01 October. 2023. <>