Review by Choice Review
Tenpas (Univ. of South Florida) has produced a thoughtful analysis of a subject surprisingly heretofore neglected by scholars: incumbent presidents running for reelection. This brief study presents a good blend of history, social science, and practical political advice while examining the eight White House-headquartered presidential election campaigns from Eisenhower in 1956 through Clinton in 1996. The author based her study in large part on information gathered through numerous interviews of White House and campaign staffers of the affected administrations. From this Tenpas divided the study into three types of presidential reelection campaigns: victorious presidents, defeated presidents, and takeover presidents. She begins by examining how presidential campaigns have evolved from party-based to White House-anchored operations. The author next untangles the organizational process of how presidential staffs have simultaneously managed campaign activities and White House operations. Perhaps the most interesting chapter focuses on analyzing what changes tend to be made in White House operations when the campaign starts. Also examined are the interactions among the White House reelection effort, campaign committee, and national party organizations. Tenpas concludes: "during a reelection year the business of governing is overshadowed by the business of campaigning." Although certainly an anticipated finding, Dunn documents the validity of that statement. She concludes with an epilogue providing ten suggestions for future White House occupants running for reelection. Strongly recommended for upper-division undergraduate and graduate libraries. R. E. Dewhirst; Northwest Missouri State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.