chapter  8
Bush’s Legacy and Obama’s Conception of American Leadership
ByNicholas Kitchen
Pages 22

This chapter explains the leadership strategies of the post-Cold War American presidents. Bush had little conception of American leadership in that he envisaged that American engagement with the institutions, norms and structures of the post-Cold War would be minimal; candidate Bush's America would seek invulnerability through major weapons systems including missile defence, and freedom of action to designate and counter threat. The flurry of activity in Obama's first hundred days began within minutes by suspending last-minute federal regulations pushed through by the outgoing administration and the theme has continued throughout the Presidents first year in office. Franklin Roosevelt defined leadership as the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. Robert Gilpin has been prominent in making this hegemonic stability argument. Yet much of the literature on the quality of leadership has focused on human virtues, emotional intelligence, communication skills, the ability to bully and bargain and to effectively manage coalitions.