The Public Impact on Presidential Leadership in Congress
Public opinion is one of the most important factors as far the President’s leadership is concerned. The role played by the public opinion is manifest during the electioneering period, when the actual elections are taking place and even during the Presidential term in White House. Through the use of opinion polls, the public opinion can be heard and this can ruin or benefit the sitting President. The opinion polls are used to gather people’s feelings and perceptions on how they think the government of the day has dealt with certain matters of national importance.
Depending on how the leadership skills and competences are being received by the public, the opinion polls are often dynamic and subject to change quite often. Depending on how the general public responds, the Congress might sometimes be compelled to react accordingly to the views of the public thereby impacting on the leadership of the President in Congress. The second most important factor that may influence the President’s leadership in Congress is the presence of interest groups. A good example of an interest group is the common business associations that have been formed to articulate certain interests that are beneficial to group members.
In addition, professional groups are also other types of interest groups. Such pressure groups may join forces to lobby for or against certain government policies which they think are affecting them. When these groups join in solidarity to push for their needs, the Congress may equally be compelled to act appropriately and as a result, the leadership of the President will be affected. The President’s ability to offer leadership may be grossly hampered especially if there is a growing number of citizens who are not happy by the government leadership.
One daunting task any sitting President will face while in office is the need to keep the economy strong in spite of the prevailing circumstances like the recently concluded recession. If the country’s economy is underperforming, the President will often find himself at crossroads; not just in terms of leading the Congress in seeking ways of economic recovery, but also reassuring the American public that the situation will not persist and an urgent solution is being sought. Although the President may put forward his agenda to the Congress as the Chief legislature, it may as well be rejected, hampering his leadership even further.
Moreover, the Senate has to offer guidance as well as endorse most of the legislative agenda of the President hence the cause of friction in leading the Congress. Apart from raising or lowering taxes, the President has no full control of resuscitating a struggling economy and unfortunately his leadership is often criticized by Congress whenever the country experiences an economic downturn. Therefore, a dismally performing economy has proved to be a real hurdle in as far as the leadership of the Congress is concerned.