Examining the Presidential-Congressional Relationship in the Context of Presidential Reelection

My name is Graham Goldberg, and I am a Business Administration + Public Policy major in my fourth year at Georgia Tech.  My CSPC paper will examine a President’s effectiveness in years three and four of his first term, as well as in years one and two of his second term if reelected. Specifically, my research seeks to determine if there is an association between a President’s reelection campaign and his relationship with Congress.

I chose my topic after reflecting on President Obama’s recent reelection campaign. While long, drawn-out reelection campaigns are inevitable given a President’s ability to run for a second term, noting the costs and benefits of campaigning in regards to the President’s effectiveness in running the country are important to understand. Results from this study will aid future administrations and Congress in agenda-setting. My paper should also aid future presidents and his/her advisors regarding decisions on reelection, how to balance campaigns and presidential responsibilities, and which types of policies to advocate for at the start of the second term.

While research and measures currently exist that attempt to evaluate Congresses and Presidents on “effectiveness”, I do not know of any studies that have linked a President’s reelection efforts to his relationship with Congress. Also, much attention has been given to the “honeymoon period” at the start of a President’s first term in office, but not as much has been studied regarding the start of a President’s second term.

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