Presidents and Political Scandal

Managing Scandal in the Modern Era
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan (Verlag)
  • erscheint ca. am 31. August 2020
 
  • Buch
  • |
  • Hardcover
  • |
  • XV, 173 Seiten
978-3-030-45503-3 (ISBN)
 

This book explores presidential power through an analysis of the ways that U.S. presidents attempt to manage scandals. While presidents routinely stonewall to block or limit investigations into their alleged transgressions or, in some cases, cooperate with investigators, this book proposes the existence of a third way of responding to scandals-a "backfire" or the creation of a counter-scandal to try to extinguish the original scandal. The existence of possible backfires is surveyed through case studies of the major scandals that impacted the Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Trump administrations. The development of this form of scandal response has meaningful implications concerning the growth of presidential power and its impacts on the functioning of the U.S. political system and the quality of American democracy. Changes in partisanship, the media environment, and the public's view of the presidency and government are topics covered in the book's explanation of the trends in scandal responses.

1st ed. 2020
  • Englisch
  • Cham
  • |
  • Schweiz
Springer International Publishing
  • Für Beruf und Forschung
XV, 173 p.
  • Höhe: 21 cm
  • |
  • Breite: 14.8 cm
978-3-030-45503-3 (9783030455033)
10.1007/978-3-030-45504-0
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
Richard Barberio is Associate Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York's College at Oneonta, USA. He writes widely and teaches on American political institutions and processes, and is the author of The Politics of Public Policy (2014).

Chapter 1: The Role of Scandal in American Politics

1. Introduction

2. Why Scandal?

3. Evaluating the Scandals

4. The Allure of Political Scandal

5. The Plan for the Book

Chapter 2: Presidential Power, Scandal, and Misdirection

1. The Presidential Advantage

2. Public Responses to Presidential Scandals

3. Scandal Types

a. Sex Scandals

b. Financial Scandals

c. Power Scandals

4. Strategies of Presidential Scandal Management

a. Stonewalling

b. Cooperation and Cooperative Stonewalling

c. The Third Strategy: Misdirection

5. The Path Ahead

Chapter 3: Nixon and Watergate

1. Introduction

2. The Antecedents of Watergate: Nixon's Rise to Power through Crisis

3. Measuring Responses: Public Actions or Private Reprisals?

4. Watergate: From Break-in to Cover-up

5. Contemplating a Backfire: The Benefits and Costs of a Democratic Counter Scandal

6. Outcomes

Chapter 4: The Reagan Administration and Iran-Contra

1. Introduction

2. The Origins of Iran-Contra

3. The Cover-up

4. Potential Benefits of a Backfire to Manage Scandal

5. Evidence for the use of a Backfire

6. Outcomes

Chapter 5: Clinton and the Lewinsky Affair

1. Introduction

2. From Whitewater to Lewinsky

3. The Initial Response - To Attack or Not?

4. The Cover-up

5. Managing the Scandal

6. The White House Strikes Back?

7. The Campaign to Discredit Lewinsky

8. Discussion

9. Applying the Framework

Chapter 6: President Trump: The Conquest of Backfire Scandal Management

1. Introduction

2. A Roadmap of Grievances

3. Russia and the Mueller Report

4. Ukraine and the "Perfect Phone Call"

5. Potential Benefits of a Backfire to Manage Scandal

6. Evidence for the use of a Backfire

7. Outcomes

Chapter 7: Comparing the Cases

1. Introduction

2. Summarizing the Cases

a. Clinton

b. Nixon

c. Reagan

d. Trump

3. Thinking Counterfactually: What If?

4. Why Not? The "Soft Guardrails" of Democracy

5. The Antecedents of Backfire Politics: Polarization

6. A Media Revolution

7. The Need for a Receptive Audience

8. What If? Putting the Backfire Puzzle Together

9. Summary

Chapter 8: Conclusions

1. Introduction

2. The Use of Backfires: A Systemic Eventuality or Individual Happenstance?

3. Opportunity for Presidential Choice

4. A Projection of Future Trends

5. Backfires in a Constitutional Democracy

This book explores presidential power through an analysis of the ways that U.S. presidents attempt to manage scandals. While presidents routinely stonewall to block or limit investigations into their alleged transgressions or, in some cases, cooperate with investigators, this book proposes the existence of a third way of responding to scandals-a "backfire" or the creation of a counter-scandal to try to extinguish the original scandal. The existence of possible backfires is surveyed through case studies of the major scandals that impacted the Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Trump administrations. The development of this form of scandal response has meaningful implications concerning the growth of presidential power and its impacts on the functioning of the U.S. political system and the quality of American democracy. Changes in partisanship, the media environment, and the public's view of the presidency and government are topics covered in the book's explanation of the trends in scandal responses.
Richard P. Barberio is Associate Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York's College at Oneonta, USA.

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