In his book “Presidential Power” (1960), Richard Neustadt says that “[p]residential power is the power to persuade” (p. 11). Neustadt also says this bargaining power is based on the advantages presidents can use to influence either Washingtonians, individuals in Washington, D.C., or the public. While the president's influence over the public cannot be overstated or underestimated, this paper will focus on a president's influence over Washingtonians, who Neustadt describes as the people “who share in governing this country” (p. 50). The relationship a president has with these Washingtonians, which for the purposes of this paper will be limited to members of Congress specifically, is known as professional reputation (Neustadt, 1960, p. 50).
This paper examines the influence of one administration on the next, using Kennedy's professional reputation among members of Congress during his tenure as president and the effects it had on Lyndon Johnson's early administration.
First, this paper will explain both Kennedy and Johnson's time spent in Congress as representatives and senators, which began their relationship with their fellow members of Congress and expanded into their presidential reputations as defined by Neustadt. It is also important to briefly examine the issues faced by each of these presidents regarding events that demanded congressional action during their administrations. This paper then examines Kennedy's reputation among members of Congress during his time as president, as well as Johnson's reputation, to see how Kennedy's had a lasting effect on issues the two presidents faced either mutually or individually as president.
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Political Science & International Affairs
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13 March 2020
- Date submitted
19 July 2022
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Dr. Carl Cavalli