Victoria University

The Great Communicators and political reconstruction: A comparative study between President Ronald Reagan and President Barack Obama

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dc.contributor.advisor Johansson, Jon Warren, Micheal D. 2013-07-09T23:31:18Z 2013-07-09T23:31:18Z 2013 2013
dc.description.abstract Presidents come into office wanting to make America a better place, and Stephen Skowronek’s recurring model of presidential authority is perfectly suited when comparing one president to another, across political time. President Ronald Reagan was categorised as a reconstructive president alongside Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D Roosevelt, according to Skowronek’s model; at the end of his first term, President Obama’s has the potential to be remembered as the sixth president of reconstruction. While the nature of reconstruction has changed and has become more superficial with the ageing of the United States political system, Obama’s reconstructive potential is no less potent than that of Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln. The passing of Health Care reform is Obama’s biggest achievement of his presidency to date and is one of the biggest domestic reforms undertaken since the 1960s. Looking ahead to Obama’s second term, further progress looks possible to enhance his reconstructive potential. If Obama can secure immigration reform, then he will give 12 million illegal immigrants the chance to come out from the shadows and work toward residency and legally live the American dream. With the election and re-election of Obama by an emerging majority made up of women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and young Americans, the Age of Reagan that existed, has now been replaced by a more diverse coalition. If a democrat can win the White House in 2016, it will truly mean that the Age of Obama has begun. Obama’s most potent legacy will become more evident in the years to come as many Americans will not remember what the unemployment rate was when he assumed office or what it was when he left office. The partisan bickering that dominated for much of Obama’s first term will have faded into distant memory, but what will shine through from the Obama presidency is opportunity. Americans will never forget how Obama changed the limits of possibility for generations to come. Today there are ten year old African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American children all over the United States who believe that, because of the Obama presidency, they too can one day become president. That in itself is hugely reconstructive and by being elected President, Obama has achieved something more potent than any other reconstructive presidents could have ever achieved. en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Reagan en_NZ
dc.subject Obama en_NZ
dc.subject Skowronek en_NZ
dc.title The Great Communicators and political reconstruction: A comparative study between President Ronald Reagan and President Barack Obama en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ Political Science en_NZ Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ Master's en_NZ Master of Arts en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 160603 Comparative Government and Politics en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified en_NZ

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