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The Unitary ExecutivePresidential Power from Washington to Bush$
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Steven G. Calabresi and Christopher S. Yoo

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300121261

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300121261.001.0001

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William McKinley

William McKinley

(p.232) 25 William McKinley
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on William McKinley, who quietly retained firm control of his administration and was a conscientious chief executive who met with his cabinet twice a week. He turned out to be another strong president in the mold of Lincoln or Cleveland, laying the foundations of the modern presidency and anticipating many innovations associated more today with Theodore Roosevelt. Though he did not explicitly state an intention to restore the prestige and authority of his office, McKinley's actions during his first year reveal a president with an instinct for power and a clear purpose of augmenting it. So transformed was the office that he “surrounded the presidency with a dignity that became almost imperial.”

Keywords:   chief executive, William McKinley, strong president, modern presidency, Theodore Roosevelt, instinct for power, clear purpose, dignity

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