Wrapping Up the Neustadt/Obama Point

Twice recently, here and here, I discussed whether the Obama Administration's health-care reform victory was likely to spill over into broader or longer-term legislative accomplishment. The obvious maxim to apply here (and I didn't resist!) is from the late Richard Neustadt, in Presidential Power, about success today improving the odds of success tomorrow. This might sound like nothing more than "momentum matters" or "them that has, gets," but it actually is more interesting and complicated in Neustadt's telling.

Just to round out the point, here are several recent nice references to Neustadt's premises and principles in Obama's age. Michael Nelson, of Rhodes College, has a Chronicle of Higher Education essay here;  and Matthew Dickinson, of Middlebury, has a blog entry here. Three  years ago Dickinson co-edited a book of analyses and appreciations of Neustadt by many of his students and colleagues, here. All of this material is highly recommended and is useful in thinking about the power of our current president.  Cover photo from the 2007 book: