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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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Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower

(p.318) 34 Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, in stark contrast with FDR and Harry S Truman, did not aspire to be an activist president. As a career soldier, Eisenhower considered it his duty to remain above politics, and consistently strove to operate behind the scenes when guiding national policy. The general consensus of historians, however, is that he “only appeared to be a passive chief executive.” One of the reasons why people believed Eisenhower was not in control of his administration was that he would sometimes deliberately duck questions at press conferences by pretending to garble his syntax. His penchant for behind-the-scenes management of his administration has led political scientist Fred I. Greenstein to label this method of governing as “hidden-hand leadership.”

Keywords:   activist president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, career soldier, behind the scenes, chief executive, management, Fred I. Greenstein, hidden-hand leadership

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