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Trial and Triumph: Presidential Power in the Second Term by Zacher, Alfred J.
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Alfred Zacher may hit the jackpot with his Trial and Triumph: Presidential Power in the Second Term. The reason, of course, is that if Bill Clinton wins re-election in 1996, he may well write the most vivid chapter in the history of men who have re-enlisted in the presidency. None of the 18 presidents who preceeded Clinton and his powerful and controversial first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as second-termers seem to have been so ensnarled in the webs of politics, character faults and hurricane days. Zacher's is not a scholarly book, but a useful and timely one. He offers thumbnail sketches of Clinton's predecessors, and reminders of what history tells us about those who re-upped for the White House adventure. In his survey, Zacher comes to three conclusions: 1) The responsibility and challenge haven't changed since the republic's founding despite government's growth; 2) the president's effectiveness in a second term is measured by his abilty to work with Congress; and 3) the second-termers differed widely in their objectives and successes, although they looked upon re-election as a mandate. "To fulfill a vision for America, whether it be for more or less government, a President must be able to cope with Congress, to communicate with the electorate, to sidestep the pitfalls of being a lame duck or the pernicious effects of unethical or extralegal acts," says Zacher. Whether Clinton has been a good or a lousy president will be determined not by his successes and failures in his first term; that measure will be taken in a second term. It's then, says Zacher, that a president's leadership qualities are crystallized; he can be innovative, and his authority can be expanded. Clinton's shadow is on every page of Zacher's engrossing and suggestive book. Every value we hold as Americans and believe our presidents should foster (in these ugly, confusing and volatile political times, the word "foster" could carry a sinister meaning) - security, a sense of fair play, a belief in law and order, courage, self-confidence and integrity - is fair game for nasty ads and innuendos. This country has been divided before, but not in my memory of presidential elections, which goes back to 1936, has the White House and those who aspire to dislodge its present occupant been so draped with meanness - so shaky the foundations of governance, so raw our political, social, moral, religious and economic nerves. Win, lose or draw (wouldn't it be something if this election were thrown into the U.S. House of Representatives?), I think this will be the most fascinating, riveting and contumelious election in our republic's history, and Zacher's book is a wonderful guide to what's in store. He doesn't tell us what is going to happen; he tells us what has happened. Las Vegas has never seen a jackpot like this election. -- From Independent Publisher
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Book Description Presidential Pr, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0965108708