“We want to have the politicians be public servants and not party servants.”
The American Presidency is a unique political institution that does not easily abide to scientific inquiry. Political scientists, presidential historians, scholars, and presidents have analyzed the institution in hopes of finding the key to a successful presidency. Some have created rating systems which try to reveal the common characteristics of successful presidents and the common qualities of those that failed. Others have produced works that could be described as how to succeed pieces. All of these studies have produced a wide variety of conclusions. This study adds to that collection of analyses.
Literature from the creation of the presidency to the modern critiques of the institution share a common theme. The presidency is a dynamic institution in which its size, shape, and character is ever changing. The success of a president and thus the success of the presidency itself rest on it and its occupant to be pragmatic. The office was created to be a pragmatic presidency, one in which the office changes in response to the practical challenges it faces. And also, one in which its occupant must be pragmatic in order to succeed. A closed minded ideological agenda is a recipe for failure. All successful presidents used the pragmatic qualities of the presidency to create practical and successful solutions for the problems the nation faced. The following will study this theme, from the way the institution was created to the way two presidents became exceptional presidents. In doing so, many conclusions will be made including some that are extremely relevant to the present hyper partisan political environment.