Free Program In Regard To New Deal Programs Eisenhower

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  1. Presidential Studies Quarterly
  2. Colgate University

Page/Link: Page URL: HTML link: The Free Library. Retrieved Feb 12 2018 from. In The Politics That Presidents Make, Stephen Skowronek argues that presidents should be compared as a result of similarities in their historical/political circumstances rather than their proximate time in history.

Specifically, Skowronek places presidents into a typology in which both the strength of the existing political regime (established by a previous president) and the affiliation of the president with or the opposition of the president to the existing regime arc considered. This typology produces four types of presidential politics: the politics of reconstruction, the politics of articulation, the politics of disjunction, and the politics of preemption.(1) Presidents who are opposed to vulnerable existing regimes have an opportunity to change political discourse and reconstruct American politics. Reconstructive presidents have the most impact on American politics.

Presidents who are affiliated with resilient regimes practice the politics of articulation in which they hope to stoke the fires of the reconstructed rhetoric and coalitions with which they are affiliated. Presidents affiliated with vulnerable regimes are disjunctive presidents. Constrained by their affiliation with existing coalitions and programs which are being questioned and losing their relevance in the broader political system, disjunctive presidents attempt to keep this faltering regime together. Finally, presidents practicing the politics of preemption are opposed to resilient regimes, but in the difficult position of searching for reconstructive opportunities where reconstruction is neither warranted by mandate nor sufficiently supported by segments of society.

Using a historical approach, Skowronek explains the ways in which a number of presidents fit into the first three categories, but he gives little attention to the politics of preemption. This relative neglect of preemptive presidents is unfortunate in that, being 'opposition leaders in resilient regimes,' the politics of preemption represents 'the most curious of all leadership situations,'(2) How do opposition leaders ascend to the presidency if the regime to which they are opposed is still strong? And, what are the opportunities and limitations of presidents in this situation? Moreover, this neglect of the politics of preemption is puzzling in that Skowronek's conclusions suggest that the future of presidential politics will be dominated by preemptive presidents.(3) Certainly the politics of preemption deserves more attention than it has received. I selected Dwight Eisenhower for several reasons. First, there is some controversy over the relationship of Eisenhower to the New Deal regime established by Franklin Roosevelt.

And with a few notable exceptions, the scholarship has ignored Eisenhower's motives in regard to the New Deal as well as his eventual impact on the New Deal regime.(4) Second, Skowronek is ambiguous about where Eisenhower fits in political time. Although he suggests that 'Eisenhower is, perhaps, the most remarkable of the preemptive leaders,' Skowronek refuses to include Eisenhower among the ranks of preemptive presidents.

He opts instead to put Eisenhower with Presidents Coolidge and Cleveland as 'hard cases.' (5) I argue that the Eisenhower case is not hard at all. On the contrary, Eisenhower is the most successful of the preemptive presidents. And third, as a result of his atypical success as a preemptive leader, the Eisenhower case may provide a blueprint for President Clinton and the perpetual string of preemptive presidents that Skowronek suggests will succeed him.

Eisenhower and the New Deal: A President in Political Time Many scholars have suggested that the Eisenhower presidency made the New Deal legitimate in American politics.(6) Prior to Eisenhower, the Republican party, for the most part, stood in opposition to New Deal policies. Attributes the acceptance of the New Deal in the Republican party to the Eisenhower presidency. After Eisenhower, the Republican party 'could chip away at New Deal measures. and it could refuse to carry those policies further; but it could not re-open settled questions.'

The acceptance of New Deal policies by Eisenhower Republicans was, more than likely, a result of the strength of the New Deal regime. Indeed, the New Deal had proven itself to the majority of America and made Franklin Roosevelt a national hero while the Old Guard Republicans were collectively saddled with the image of Herbert Hoover's depression.

Prior to the Eisenhower presidency, 'the Democratic party was widely perceived. As the party of prosperity and the Republican Party as the party of depression.' (8) Campbell et al. Credit 'the willingness of the Eisenhower administration to embrace most of the reforms of the New Deal' with lessening the Democratic advantage on economic issues from 1952 to 1956.(9) An examination of Eisenhower's personal correspondence supports the idea that his acceptance of the New Deal was primarily based on political considerations. When his brother Edgar complained that he was being too liberal, President Eisenhower responded: 'Should any political party attempt to abolish social security and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.' (10) Similarly, when conservatives complained that President Eisenhower 'had abandoned the Republican commitment to fiscal responsibility,' he countered that the social programs which were the subject of the conservatives' wrath had 'now become accepted in our civilization.' (11) These political considerations reflected Eisenhower's political pragmatism.

He reportedly based important components of his 1952 campaign, including his promise to go to Korea, on the results of public opinion polls commissioned by his campaign.(12) Eisenhower's practicality is also reflected in a letter he wrote to a Republican politician in Massachusetts who suggested that he had lost local campaigns due to his steadfast Republicanism: 'If it is true that your lack of success as a candidate for public office was due to the manner in which you answered some questions, would it advance the course of human freedom if I were to emulate you in that respect?' (13) Such pragmatism fit into Eisenhower's broader belief system in which reason and compromise were essential not only to leadership but to democracy more generally. As he wrote: 'Some of the intellectuals (and particularly some of the pseudo-intellectuals).

Are prone to forget that leadership in a democracy consists of making progress by compromise.' (14) Thus, the imperatives of the electoral situation drove Eisenhower's acceptance of some New Deal policies. The strength and popularity of New Deal programs and the temper of the times dominated Eisenhower's political considerations. In defending his centrist positions to vice presidential nominee Richard Nixon, Eisenhower said: 'In these times, I do not see how an honest man can do much more. We are faced with facts-we must meet them as they exist, not as we would like them to be.' (15) This practical political side of Eisenhower attests to the strength of the New Deal regime and consequently Skowronek's thesis that presidents are constrained by presidents who precede them. This vision of Eisenhower as a covert political pragmatist is bolstered when one takes into account Eisenhower's privately held antipathy toward the New Deal.

His personal correspondence and public statements in the early 1950s repeatedly reflect his dislike for, and even fear of, New Deal policies. Eisenhower not only opposed the New Deal, but he also 'was opposed to FDR in 1932 and 1936 and especially disapproved of his bid for a third term in 1940. He did favor Roosevelt's return to office in 1944, but only because he did not want to break up a winning team in wartime.' (16) According to Arthur Larson, Eisenhower's dislike of Roosevelt's policies played a determinative role in his decision to run in 1952. When friends came to Eisenhower in Europe 'to urge him to seek the presidential nomination, the alternatives appeared to him to be these: if the Democrats stayed in, it would mean more New Dealism and the like; if Taft got in, it would mean the end of collective security. With those alternatives, he felt he had to come back and run for the nomination.'

(17) Once in the White House, Eisenhower sought to distance himself from the New Deal. His administration was peopled with officials who similarly abhorred the New Deal; he once sought to place one man in the administration because 'there was nothing New Dealish about him.' (18) Similarly, in defending himself against repeated attacks from conservative Republicans that he was a creature of the FDR machine, Eisenhower once asked 'how could I ever have been a part of the Roosevelt-Truman socialism game?' (19) On another such occasion, he protested: 'to my knowledge, I had no close acquaintanceship prior to going to command in Britain in 1942 with any prominent `New Dealer.'

Every opinion and conviction I have ever expressed about governmental affairs has been against planned economy, the `hand out' state, and the trend toward centralization of economic and political power in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.' (20) Eisenhower's articulated enmity for New Deal policies also revealed specific fears regarding the detrimental affects of the New Deal-Fair Deal programs. Eisenhower believed that New Deal policies led to inefficient government, centralization of power in the federal government at the peril of the states, 'creeping socialism,' and paternalism in American society.

On the surface, Eisenhower believed that the change his electoral victory would, in itself, represent an important contribution to American politics as it would, at long last, turn the Democrats out of office. In attempting to convince a southerner to abandon his lifelong allegiance to Democrats, Eisenhower wrote: 'Now, if ever, is the time to throw out of government big city machine politicians and left wing dreamers. Now, if ever, is the time to restore decent, honest government.'

(21) He viewed 'cleaning the county courthouse' as 'one of the real chores' of 1952; he believed that there had been an accumulation 'of bureaucrats in Washington whose main mission in life is the perpetuation and expansion of their own jobs.' He saw Republican victory as the only remedy: 'I do not believe that any Democratic President, no matter how strong, how honest, how determined, can actually perform this job thoroughly. There is needed a complete change.' (22) Eisenhower hoped to end government corruption and perceived waste and abuse. Aside from government corruption, Eisenhower also saw more long-range problems for American government resulting from New Deal policies.

Eisenhower believed that centralization of power in the federal government represented a threat to state autonomy and the balance of power in the federal system. In a message to Congress in early 1953, the president summarized the evolution of federal-state relations claiming that since 1932, 'the Federal Government has entered fields which, under our Constitution, are the primary responsibilities of state and local government.' (23) In private correspondence, Eisenhower's rhetoric was more inflammatory. Echoing the arguments of Anti-Federalist patriot Patrick Henry, Eisenhower wrote: 'If the Federal Government uses its taxing power to the point that there is no money left to the citizens for payment of taxes to his city and state-these local agencies of the people will become helpless-possibly even disappear.' (24) Eisenhower also believed New Deal policies based on the federal government expanding its control over the economy would lead the country toward socialism. In a letter to vice presidential nominee Richard Nixon, he claimed 'that continuation of the present administration in Washington will continue us, perhaps beyond redemption, on the path toward Socialism we are now pursuing.'

(25) Similarly, during the 1952 campaign, he scored New Deal-Fair Deal policies saying that he would never accept 'Left-Wingish, pinkish influence' in American politics.(26) Having described proponents of grant-in-aid programs as 'doctrinaire socialists,' and once having slipped in public by describing TVA as 'creeping socialism,' it is clear that Eisenhower mistrusted and feared the trends of the New Deal.(27) In addition to opposing an increase in government control of the economy, Eisenhower feared the more general increase in government activity in most domestic spheres. In his diary, he wrote that as a presidential candidate he believed that Democratic control of the government 'had to be stopped. because we were coming to the point where we looked toward a paternalistic state to guide our steps from cradle to grave.' (28) He thought that this increase in New Deal 'paternalism' allowed the government 'to make inroads on our freedom.' (29) Furthermore, he feared that the government was 'penetrating more and more into our daily living'; that government's 'answer to excessive control is more control.'

(30) In his 1953 State of the Union message, this fear of paternalism manifested itself in rather extreme language: 'The very meaning of economic freedom as it affects labor has become confused. This misunderstanding has provided a climate of opinion favoring the growth of governmental paternalism in labor relations. This tendency, if left uncorrected, could end only by producing a bureaucratic despotism.' (31) Likewise, with respect to a farm program, Eisenhower expressed caution about the growth of government. He said that although the goal should be 'economic stability and full parity of income for American farmers,' that 'we must seek this goal in ways that minimize governmental interference.'

(32) His chief qualms about the New Deal concerned the trends and tendencies set in motion by New Deal-Fair Deal programs rather than their specific policies. Eisenhower's Legacy: Preempting New Deal Trends Eisenhower's concern with New Deal paternalistic 'tendencies, if left uncorrected' 'creeping socialism,' 'inroads on our freedom' that state and local governments may 'possibly even disappear.' And the 'complete change' needed to counter the accumulative corruption he perceived in the previous Democratic administrations-all have to do with the long-term effects. Consequently, Eisenhower sought to preempt the New Deal regime by slowing down and, in some cases, stopping these trends, and leave his own mark on American politics. It is conventional wisdom that Eisenhower accepted and, in some ways (particularly in the area of social security), extended the New Deal.(33) Eisenhower also accepted some of the societal changes which accompanied the New Deal.

For example, for him, as well as many other Americans, labor unions had become a legitimate part of society. He once wrote: 'Only a handful of unreconstructed reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of the right to Join the union of their choice.' (34) During his first presidential campaign, Eisenhower made a concerted effort to emphasize the New Deal policies with which he agreed; in a letter to Harold Stassen, Eisenhower wrote: 'From here on out I shall try-in every talk-to emphasize the liberal side of our program. Last evening at Fargo I repeated again that the Republicans stood firmly behind social security and its expansion and so on.'

(35) But the conservative side of his philosophy was implied in this letter to Stassen. An emphasis on only the 'liberal' statements mentioned above misrepresents the dual nature of Eisenhower's domestic policies. Eisenhower was not exclusively liberal in the 1952 campaign; in fact, he hoped to scale back the New Deal. Later when he extended the New Deal, such extensions were 'essentially conservative in spirit': 'The housing act, even though it continued the public housing program, set construction levels far lower than those of the Truman years and otherwise minimized the role of the federal government in the housing industry.

Administration arguments for extension of the social security program relied heavily on the potential of the system to make all other federal relief unnecessary.' (36) The president's attempts at moderating Democratic proposals suggest that the extension of the New Deal in the 1950s was more a result of the wishes of Congress and the impact of the broader political environment than a result of presidential leadership.

Given his personal antipathy for the New Deal, it seems probable that Eisenhower's partial acceptance was due to the strength of the New Deal regime in the political environment. Even in the area of social security, the most cited example of Eisenhower's acceptance and extension of the New Deal, Eisenhower privately expressed concern: 'In the long run social security expenditures are merely another charge against production.' (37) Although Eisenhower extended some New Deal policies, 'traditional Republican hostility to federal intervention in the economy was implicit in much of what the candidate promised in 1952-reductions in spending, eventual tax cuts, and the encouragement of private initiative.' (38) Despite some of his actions, if left to his own devices, Eisenhower would probably have dismantled much of the New Deal. The strength of the New Deal, however, was such that it was politically impossible for Eisenhower to dismantle it.


It would be a mistake, however, to suggest that Eisenhower had no impact on the New Deal regime. In his first year, he sought to slow the trends of Democratic corruption, the imbalance of federal-state power, socialism, and the paternalism he feared would result from these other trends. He also hoped that his election would put an end to continued Democratic domination of American national politics. This, in fact, was one of the chief reasons Eisenhower decided to run for the presidency.

He wrote: 'one of the reasons that finally induced me to allow my name to go before the Republican convention in Chicago was a conviction that we must preserve the two-party system in America-that we cannot allow domination by one to lead us down one particular, and I believe false, political path.' (39) Additionally, Eisenhower sought to redress the growing imbalance he perceived in federal-state relations. In a sense, he was the first New Federalism president. In March 1953, Eisenhower sent a special message to Congress recommending the establishment of a commission to study federal, state, and local relations. In his message to Congress, the president claimed that 'the present division of activities between Federal and state governments, including their local subdivisions, is the product of more than a century and a half of piecemeal and often haphazard growth.

This growth in recent decades has proceeded at a speed defying order and efficiency.' (40) The aim of this commission was to give the administration some control over the trend established by the New Deal toward the centralization of power in the federal government. This first attempt at New Federalism dovetailed with Eisenhower's effort to curtail the 'creeping socialism' he thought was a result of ill-conceived New Deal policies. Again, the president realized the limitations the political environment placed on his hope to peel back New Deal policies, but he did try to change the New Deal and Fair Deal programs at the margins. Eisenhower hoped to pull the federal government out of economic matters in a number of policy areas. In his first State of the Union address, Eisenhower called for 'corrective action' in regard to the Taft-Hartley Act.(41) Similarly, he fought 'simple control.

Through arbitrary governmental power' of the agricultural industry claiming that it 'is something we neither want in our national life as a system or as a practice.' (42) And he railed against the federal government's 'senseless use of controls' in the economy;(43) he referred to his plans to lift price controls as an attempt to 'unshackle the economy' from government control.(44) Finally, Eisenhower sought to curtail the increasing paternalism he saw resulting from New Deal policies.

Again, however, he and other Republicans who hoped to suspend the trend toward paternalism were carefully attuned to the limited opportunities presented by the political environment. In 1953, Herbert Hoover wrote Eisenhower: 'To go back is impossible. All you can do is to try to turn away gradually from the path leading to paternalism.' (45) In his first State of the Union address, Eisenhower stated that one of his economic goals was to 'make constructive plans to encourage the initiative of our citizens.'

(46) This fear of paternalism is particularly interesting when one considers Eisenhower's views on the proper role of government: 'no one has ever stated, defined, the proper function of government better than did Abraham Lincoln. You will recall he said: `The proper function of government is to do for people those things they cannot do at all, or not so well individually. And in everything else the government ought not to interfere.' '(47) Perhaps President Eisenhower feared that the trend toward paternalism would lead to a decline in the number of spheres where people could do things for themselves. It is true that Eisenhower did not dismantle the New Deal piece by piece.

Instead, he focused his energy on countering what he perceived were the most dire effects of the New Deal-Fair Deal programs. When asked in a press conference to distinguish his program from the New Deal, Eisenhower replied: 'The difference is in the direction in which it would go.' (48) In terms of these trends toward centralization, socialism, and paternalism, Eisenhower was certainly succesful at preempting the threat he perceived from the New Deal regime.

Conclusions Stephen Skowronek describes the politics of preemptive presidents as follows: 'Intruding into an ongoing polity as an alien force; they interrupt a still vital political discourse and try to preempt its agenda by playing upon the political divisions within the establishment.' (49) There was, perhaps, no force as alien to American domestic politics in 1952 as Dwight Eisenhower.

And, certainly the New Deal regime represented a 'still vital political discourse.' This article has demonstrated also that President Eisenhower did indeed attempt to preempt what he perceived as the most perilous legacy of the New Deal-Fair Deal programs: the trends toward federal centralization, socialism, and paternalism.

Whether these trends were actually the New Deal legacy, Eisenhower believed them to be, and he took action to preempt them. Why, then, is the Eisenhower case regarded as a difficult fit in the Skowronek typology?

One reason may be that Eisenhower enjoyed uncharacteristic success for a preemptive president.(50) Eisenhower avoided the pitfalls associated with the politics of preemption by not being overly aggressive. Where other preemptive presidents-John Tyler, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, and Richard Nixon-probed for reconstructive possibilities without clear warrant for breaking cleanly with the past,(51) Eisenhower did not probe as deeply. He deftly selected his goals for reconstruction.

Rather than creating a New Deal or Fair Deal, Eisenhower opted for a No Deal in which his administration would seek to slow the pathological domestic tendencies he perceived in the New Deal. And for those who might argue that Eisenhower was a willing participant in the extension of the New Deal, I offer not only Eisenhower's words cited above, but also the observations of close Eisenhower associate, Emmet Hughes: 'The Administration was not required to defend the New Deal against challenge, but merely to accept their immutability, as a matter of political necessity. It is not easy to assign historic credit to a man for achievements he never attempted.' (52) Skowronek concedes that Eisenhower 'demonstrated extraordinary sensitivity to the resilience' of the New Deal.(53) But I do not agree that Eisenhower's moderate success in handling his precarious political situation makes him any less a preemptor than those listed by Skowronek. In fact, to do so is to reduce Skowronek's analysis of preemptive presidents to tautology.

Are preemptive presidents only those that fail in resisting a strong regime? Eisenhower is the exception that proves the rule. Skowronek suggests that the future of presidential politics may be dominated by perpetual preemption. If, indeed, the Clinton presidency may be the first of this line,(54) perhaps he and future preemptive presidents may learn from Eisenhower. The lessons of the Eisenhower preemptive presidency highlight the necessity of being sensitive to the strength of the existing regime, being careful in selecting ones policy battles, and going at a pace appropriate to one's mandate light of the strength of the regime.

If indeed we have a future full of preemptive presidents, the Eisenhower presidency may provide a blueprint for slow methodical change. And although we may not have a reconstructive president in the near future, a series of preemptive presidents, carefully attuned to the limits imposed by the existing regime, may cause a gradual reconstruction of American politics over several administrations. Notes (1.) Stephen Skowronek, The Politics That Presidents Make (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. (2.) Ibid., p. (3.) Ibid., pp.

(4.) Two exceptions are William E. Leuchtenburg, In the Shadow of FDR (Ithaca, NY Cornell University Press, 1985), Chapter 2; and Gary W.

Presidential Studies Quarterly

Reichard, The Reaffirmation of Republicanism (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1975). (5.) Skowronek, The Politics That Presidents Make, pp. 45-9 (emphasis added).

(6.) Leuchtenburg, In the Shadow of FDR, pp: 48-9; Also see Oscar Handlin, 'Eisenhower administration: A Self-Portrait' Atlantic Monthly, November 1963, p. Key, Jr., Politics, Parties, and Pressure Groups, 5th ed. (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1964), p. (8.) Angus Campbell, Philip E. Converse, Warren E. Miller, and Donald E.

Stokes, The American Voter (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1960), p. (9.) Ibid., p. (10.) Leuchtenburg, In the Shadow of FDR, p. (11.) Eisenhower quoted in Chester J. And Elmo Richardson, The Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, rev. (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1991), p.

(12.) Arvind Raichur and Richard W. Waterman, 'The Presidency, The Public, and the Expectations Game' in Richard W. Waterman, ed., The Presidency Reconsidered (Itasca, IL: F.E. Peacock Publishers, 1993), pp.

(13.) Louis Galambos, ed., The Papers of Dwight Eisenhower (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), 13: 1385. Hereafter Galambos, PDW, volume papers. (15.) Galambos, PDW, 13: 1369 (emphasis is in original). (16.) Leuchtenburg, In the Shadow of FDR, p.

(17.) Arthur Larson, Eisenhower: The President Nobody Knew (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1968), p. (18.) Robert H. Ferrell, ed., The Eisenhower Diaries (New York: Norton, 1981), p. (19.) Galambos, PDW, 13: 819. (20.) Ibid., PDW, 13: 558. On another occasion, Eisenhower wrote: 'of all the arguments directed against me, one of the strangest is that I am part of the `Roosevelt conspiracy,' and have owed to that membership all the promotions I have ever received. No one has ever taken the trouble to look up the easily proven fact that I never met Mr.

Roosevelt or any of his intimates until I had been designated to go overseas to command.' Ibid., 13: 816. (21.) Galambos, PDW, 13: 1404. (22.) Ibid., p. (23.) 'Special Message to the Congress Recommending the Establishment of a Commission to Study Federal, State, and Local Relations,' 3/30/53; in The Public Papers of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953, (Washington, D.C.: U.S.

Government Printing Office, 1953) p. (24.) Galambos, PDW, 13; 989. For a similar passage, see Patrick Henry's 'Speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 9, 1788' in Herbert J. Storing, ed., The Anti-Federalist (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1985). (25.) Galambos, PDW, 13: 1366. (26.) Reichard, The Reaffirmation of Republicanism, p., 13.

(27.) Galambos, PDW, 13: 990; and Reichard, The Reaffirmation of Republicanism, p. (28.) Ferrell, The Eisenhower Diaries, p. (29.) Galambos, PDW, 13: 989. (30.) Ibid., p. (31.) The Public Papers of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953, p. (32.) Ibid., p.

(33.) See Sidney M. Milkis and Michael Nelson, The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-1993, 2nd ed. (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1994), p.

Colgate University

309; Key, Politics, Parties and Pressure Groups, pp. (34.) Galambos, PDW, 13: 1357. Considering Skowronek's typology, it is interesting that Eisenhower uses the term 'unreconstructed' to refer to those who were not persuaded by Roosevelt's 'reconstruction' of American labor politics. (35.) Ibid., p.

(36.) Reichard, The Reaffirmation of Republicanism, p. (37.) Galambos, PDW, 13: 1038. (38.) Reichard, The Reaffirmation of Republicanism, p. (39.) Galambos, PDW, 13: 1327. (40.) The Public Papers of President Dwight D.

Eisenhower, 1953, p. (41.) Ibid., p. (42.) Ibid., p. (43.) Official Report of the Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Republican National Convention, 1952, p. (44.) Ibid., p.

(45.) Reichard, The Reaffirmation of Republicanism, p. (46.) The Public Papers of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953, p. (47.) Ibid., pp. (48.) The Public Papers of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954, p. (49.) Skowronek, The Politics That Presidents Make, p.

(50.) Skowronek claims that 'aggressive leaders in a politics of preemption tend to get themselves impeached, de facto if not de jure' (44). The implication here is that nonaggressive leaders may avoid the threat of impeachment. But Skowronek does not give an example of such a careful preemptive leader-this paper does.

(51.) Ibid., p. (52.) Emmet John Hughes, The Ordeal of Power: A Political Memoir of the Eisenhower Years (New York: Antheum, 1963), pp. (53.) Indeed, there is the possibility that Eisenhower was no more sensitive than other preemptive presidents, but rather the strength of the reconstructed New Deal regime may have been simply more obvious than the strength of other regimes that presidents have sought to preempt.


(54.) Skowronek suggests that 'after Reagan's Roosevelt and Bush's Truman,' Clinton 'comes to the politics of preemption as a matter of course' (p. This article grew out of a paper presented at the 1994 meeting of the Northeast Political Science Association. The author thanks Andy Pavord, Doug Dow, Tracey Roof, Margie Brassil, and the reviewers of this journal. Special thanks to Erik Kjeldgaard and Christine Kempf who read the manuscript and provided useful comments at a critical stage.