Colgate University Libraries


Zachary Mancher


I wrote this paper while on the political science department study group in Washington, D.C. The inspiration for this paper came from two sources. The first was Stephen Skowronek's book, The Politics Presidents Make, in which he divides all of the Presidents into four categories: Reconstructionists (Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, FDR), Orthodox Innovators/Articulators (Monroe, Polk, LBJ, etc.), Disjunctive Presidents (Hoover, Carter, etc.), and Preemptive Presidents (Nixon, Wilson, etc.). He goes through history explaining the similarities of the first three types, but completely ignores the Preemptive Presidents. I wanted to fill this gap. The other source of my inspiration came from the fact that my fascination with politics began after Bill Clinton, the President I grew up with, had left office. I wanted to know why he evokes such different emotions from people on opposite sides of the political spectrum. I wanted to know where he would fit into history. This paper taught me fascinating things about the workings of the individual administrations of Bill Clinton and Dwight Eisenhower and about the institution of the Presidency, itself. It has allowed me to not only speak more knowledgeably about these Presidents, but also to incorporate new information about other Presidents into a more refined schema and recognize as future Presidents repeat the same patterns.