Samuel Popkin on Candidates Running for President and Vice President of the United States

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During the Roosevelt and Kennedy administrations, political science and policymaking had a close relationship. However, this has changed in recent years. However, Samuel Popkin argues that they can still be one in the same. Popkin makes the case that qualities such as character or even a voting record do not actually affect whether the candidate or not will win the Presidency election. In fact, the team surrounding the candidate is a much larger, if not the most import variable in determining his fate in the election. Popkin also speaks of the candidate himself as well as his team saying, “Anyone audacious enough to run must also be agile and resilient, and it is that candidate’s assembled team that determines the level of the candidate’s agility and resilience.” Popkin goes on to explain important components of the team, one of them being the chief of staff. He writes that “The single most important part of a successful team is a chief of staff strong enough to be an honest broker,” and to beware because Weak chiefs of staff are the biggest reason campaigns flounder.” The chief of staff’s ideal, major responsibility is to act as the “gatekeeper” to the presidential candidate and to make sure that the rest of the team is not giving too much advice making it harder to make a decision. A candidate who takes counsel from too many people such as analysts, family, or other may have trouble deciding who to listen to which could eventually lead into organizational issues as well as
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