Presidential Character

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James David Barber, Presidential Character
What shapes a particular presidency?
1.
The institution
Powers have changed over time
2.
The power situation
Who controls Congress and the courts?
The climate of expectations
Public’s need for reassurance
Sense of progress and action
Sense of legitimacy—being above politics
And…
3.
The President’s personality
A.
Style
Early adulthood
Habitual way of performing his roles
Rhetoric, personal relations, homework
B.
World View
Adolescence
Primary politically relevant beliefs
Social causality, human nature, central moral conflicts of the
time
C.
Character
Childhood
Activity level—active, passive
Affect—positive, negative
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