Share this

Obama on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks, John D. Graham

Reviewed by Graham G. Dodds

BUY

 

Given the manifold difficulties of the early Donald Trump presidency and its unrealized public policy ambitions, the issue of evaluating a president's policy accomplishments has been very much in the news. In Bush on the Home Front (2010), John D. Graham detailed the domestic policy successes and failures of George W. Bush's presidency, and now in Obama on the Home Front, he does the same for Barack Obama's presidency.

Graham declines to pass judgment on whether Obama's domestic policy efforts were good or bad for the country and instead focuses only on the extent to which Obama succeeded or failed in his policy goals. The book also presents a nine-point theory of presidential effectiveness in times of political polarization, which involves outreach, the inclusion of elements to appeal to the base and also to moderates, the use of interest groups, and going public both nationally and locally, among other things. Beyond this theory, the book uses case studies and counterfactual considerations to evaluate Obama's policy performance.

Most of Graham's analysis is made up of seven case studies of Obama's policy efforts, several of which are essentially couplets: the short-term response to the Great Recession and also long-term economic planning, Obamacare's legislative journey and also its troubled impleme

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Strengths and Weaknesses in U.S. Elections

Complications of American Democracy: Elections Are Not Enough
Demetrios James Caraley

Why Americans Deserve a Constitutional Right to Vote for Presidential Electors
Demetrios James Caraley

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS