This chapter explores the state of the literature on questions about the president's leadership success in an environment of high expectations and lowered ability. It argues that there is more than one way to look at presidential leadership. The chapter analyzes presidential leadership of opinion in the proper context and identify the particular conditional moments during which it may succeed. Presidents do not simply succeed or fail in the abstract; rather presidents' successes at leading the public are conditional on the environments they face. Presidential success at leading public opinion is therefore conditional not only on the constraints of the political world they inhabit but also on the White House's skills in navigating that environment. Presidents must operate within the boundary of their political, economic, legislative and partisan reality. The greater the number or impact of opposition voices, the less likely that presidents are to lead public opinion.