Imperiled presidency

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The Imperiled Presidency was a theory of former President of the United States Gerald Ford[1] in contrast to Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.'s theory of the Imperial Presidency. The theory suggests that rather than being too powerful, the president does not have enough power to be effective.

The growth in the size of the bureaucracy surrounding the President since the New Deal of the 1930s has made the executive more difficult to control. Ford argued that "a principal weakness in the presidency is the inability of the White House to maintain control over the large federal bureaucracy. There is nothing more frustrating for a President than to issue an order to a Cabinet officer, and then find that, when the order gets out in the field, it is totally mutilated."


  1. Nation: Two Ex-Presidents Assess the Job,; Gerald R. Ford; Richard M. Nixon Monday, Nov. 10, 1980