A Partial Observer: Key Factors May Help Decide Next President
The Partial Observer
Key Factors May Help
Decide Next President
Discussion about the next presidential election no longer begins a year or so before Election Day. It begins four years before the election! Because of this, it might be appropriate—21 months before the next election—to highlight the six factors regularly cited by political scientists and historians in gauging the performance of a president. An appreciation of these factors should be helpful to citizens as they discuss the fitness of 2024 presidential candidates.
Communication: The great majority of Americans come to know a president through television, newspaper and the Internet. Effective communication through these outlets is important for a president who seeks to gain the support of citizens for a legislative proposal or during a foreign policy crisis such as a prolonged military engagement. A president whose gifts as a communicator thought to be superb was Franklin Roosevelt.
Political Skill: Presidents have to be good politicians in the sense of understanding what it takes to “get things done.” Most critical here is being effective in working with both houses of Congress. Congress is a complex institution with a variety of people holding power on a particular issue. Presidents must know who these people are and how to gain their support. Lyndon Johnson was considered to have a high level of political skill.