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Presidential Powers: A Comparsion of Predencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama

Decent Essays
As the President of the United States, a president have powers that other members of the government do not. Presidential power can be defined in numerous ways. Political scientists Richard Neustadt and William Howell give different views on what is presidential power. These polarized views of presidential powers can be used to compare and contrast the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Richard Neustadt stated in his book Presidential Power that “Presidential power is the power to persuade.”(Neustadt, pg.11) Persuasion and bargaining are techniques that presidents can use to influence policy. Neustadt explains how persuasion can help a president get laws passed and to get favorable public opinion.Neustadt explains that
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In times of emergency, persuasion can take up time and can sometimes cost money or lives of people. There are certain times where a president should use persuasion and times where they shouldn’t.
Both President Obama and Bush had different tactics when it came to foreign affairs. In the following weeks after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, President George W Bush issued executive orders including setting up a Secretary of Homeland Security and a Homeland Security Council, launching a military strike against Afghanistan and other executive orders. Bush issued these executive orders without going through Congress. Howell stated that “Though these commands did not come as executive orders, or any kind of formal directive, they nonetheless instigated some of the most potent expressions of executive power.” (Howell, pg 1-2) In a time of crisis, Howell agrees with Bush’s tactics of not seeking congressional approval for the orders that were passed in the weeks after 9-11.
President Obama’s tactics in Syria is much different than President’s Bush’s tactics in Iraq. In August 2013, Obama seeked Congress approval on military action in Syria after the Syrian government used chemical attacks that killed over a thousand innocent civilians. On September 11, 2013, military action was placed on hold
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