Author Justin Vaughn On The Heroic Expectations Of The American President

Jun 13, 2014

The office of the President of the United States is among the most highly visible institutions anywhere in the world. The person who occupies the office is subject to intense scrutiny – and while some of that is negative, the president oftentimes also serves as a symbol of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of a diverse American citizenry.

But what happens when there is a disconnect between the high expectations Americans have for what their president can accomplish, and the reality of how the office functions in today’s Washington?

Justin Vaughn, tackles this complex question in a new book, The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations: Establishing the Obama Presidency. The book, which he co-edited with Jennifer R. Mercieca of Texas A&M University, is a compilation of essays written by Vaughn and other academic scholars from across the country. It explores how expectations play into perceptions of presidential success, with a focus on the Obama White House.

Dr. Vaughn is an assistant professor of political science at Boise State University and an expert on the American presidency. He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, NPR, the BBC, Politico, the Christian Science Monitor and Al Jazeera.

Dr. Vaughn is the recipient of the 2014 Susan Koppelman Award for the book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics, which he co-edited with Lilly J. Goren.

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