The Presidential Power of Barack Obama and Donald Trump: Regime Cycles and Persuasive Power

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This thesis analyzes the presidential power of Barack Obama and Donald Trump by examining the relationship between these Presidents and the US Congress by uniting theories on presidential power by Richard Neustadt and Stephen Skowronek. The presidents discussed will first be attributed a place within Skowronek’s regime cycle. The persuasive power of the two presidents in relation to the place they occupy in the regime cycle will then be studied by analyzing a case study. The efforts by both presidents to pass their version of health care reform will be examined, giving special attention to the relationship of both presidents with Congress. The thesis finds that the presidents studied wielded their presidential power differently. It is likely that presidential power between the two presidents differs as a result of their place in the presidential cycle, which, in turn, impacted their persuasive power and thus the ability to wield presidential power.
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