This chapter discusses the administration of Jimmy Carter, which is considered to represent the nadir of presidential power in the post-World War II era. Unable to articulate a clear vision for the country and beset by the oil and Iranian hostage crises, Carter proved ill suited to assume the strong leadership role taken by many of his predecessors. His political weaknesses, however, did not translate into a willingness to allow control over the execution of the law to be transferred from the White House to Capitol Hill. On the contrary, in spite of its other problems, the Carter administration appears for the most part to have solidly defended the unitariness of the executive branch. From the outset, Carter wanted to run his own White House and thus began his administration with no strong White House chief of staff.
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