The Power to Persuade Essay

1028 Words 5 Pages
In the most widely quoted and discussed model of presidential power, Richard Neustadt states that the power of the president lies in the power to persuade. According to Neustadt, the key to presidential success and influence is persuasion. Although some may view the president as a powerful authority figure, the checks and balances established by the founders makes the president’s skills of persuasion crucial.
The president’s accumulation of personal power can make up for his lack of institutional powers. The president must act as the “lubricant” for the other sectors of government in order to preserve order and accomplish business. Neustadt emphasizes the president’s ability to forge strong personal relationships and his or her
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He ensured the construction of the Panama Canal, won the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese War, reached a Gentleman’s Agreement on immigration with Japan, and conserved thousands of acres for national parks in the West. He used his leverage with the people and likeability to affect congress, and used his charm and geniality to influence foreign powers. He set the stage for the presidents who came after him in using the power of persuasion in the modern presidency. (Hargrove 98)
Another President who validates the ideals of Neustadt was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt’s fifth cousin (Presidents). Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the presidency a symbol of leadership and purpose in a time of depression and war. He established the role of the president to be chief legislator and has been labeled the “manipulative leader.” His charm was remarkable. He relied on his persuasion skills as a political tool. It was written that “In his geniality was a kind of frictionless command.” His success during the depression and New Deal programs, and the leadership he displayed during World War II is partially due to his presidential personality of unity. President Roosevelt was described as an artist of interpersonal relations; he knew how to combine diverse advice in unified solutions and strike chords of support through affirmation. He truly strived to gain the trust of the
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