The Presidency and Organized Interests: White House Patterns of Interest Group Liaison>

This article “Presidency and Organized Interests: White House Patterns of Interest Group Liaison” by Mark A. Peterson. 1992. American Political Science Review 86(3): 612-625. This article is linked on this page but it can also be found on JSTOR via the MSU Library and the Electronic Resources.

This article discusses the types of interest group relations in the White House. The author looks at interest groups from a different perspective than other authors. This author establishes a typology to help explain the relationship between interest groups and the White House. Do not worry about the methodology used in the article, instead focus on what the major findings are and think about how you would answer the following questions below.

  1. What are the four kinds of interest group liaising that occurs withing the White House?
  2. What White House(s) are used as an examples in this article?
  3. How does the author look at interest group relationships within the various administrations?
  4. How has liaising changed since FDR’s time in office?
  5. The author identifies two terms – “interest group liaison” and “public liaison” – how are these terms different from one another?
  6. What is the typology of interest group liaison activities?

Do Special Interest Groups Hurt Candidates? an article by Josh Clark

This is a very short article discussing the relationship between interest groups and campaigning. This article is relevant to our current campaign and also to this module as it addresses the role of interest groups in politics. When reading through this article, please think about the following questions:

  1. What is the name of the Act that prohibits lobbyists from bestowing gifts and travel onto lawmakers?
  2. What is the name of the Act that limits massive contributions to political parties by banning soft-money contributions during federal elections by corporations, special interest groups and the wealthy? (Hint – one of our candidates helped name this Act)
  3. What things can special interests do to help candidates?
  4. What types of things does the article suggest are part of the “darker side” of interest groups? What examples does the article list?
  5. What is the name for groups that are named after a section of the US tax code that gives them leeway in raising and spending money on behalf of candidates?

George Bush as Party leader

Please watch the following video which depicts some of the best quotes during President Bush’s tenure as President. Specifically these quotes focus on his rhetoric in the area of foreign policy. Although President Bush may not be the best leader, this video shows the varying rhetoric he has displayed throughout his presidency on an important topic such as foreign policy. As you watch this video, I would like for you to think about the rhetoric used here.

President Bush Singing at Gridiron Dinner – March 8, 2008

The Gridiron Club was founded in 1885, is the oldest and most prestigious journalistic organization in Washington, DC. Its 65 active members represent major newspapers, news services, news magazines and broadcast networks. Membership is by invitation only and has traditionally been offered almost exclusively to Washington newspaper bureau chiefs. Recently, however, it has begun opening its doors to such non-newspaper media figures as Tim Russert of NBC News, Bob Schieffer of ABC News, and Mara Liasson of NPR. In 1958, the club established the Gridiron Foundation, which makes charitable contributions and provides scholarships, including underwriting five journalism students at the University of Maryland each year known as Gridiron Scholars, as well as a Gridiron Fellow pursuing a master’s degree. The Gridiron Club is best known for its annual dinner which traditionally features the US Marine Corps Band, along with satirical music skits by the members and remarks by the President of the United States and representatives of each political party. The skits and speeches by various politicians are expected to be self-deprecating or otherwise sharply comedic. Every U.S. President except Grover Cleveland has spoken at the dinner since 1885. Hillary and Bill Clinton have both spoken at Club dinners, and the 2008 dinner marked the sixth time that that President George W. Bush attended during his presidency. At this particular dinner on March 8, 2008, President Bush gave a farewell message to the club that will surely go down in history.President Bush shows how he is the “Party Leader”. When watching this video, think about what is being said here and what this means for President Bush and for the next President’s relationship with this group of people.

“Top 10 W Moments” – Dave Letterman via satellite at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner

Top 10 Favorite George W. Bush Moments as given by Dave Letterman at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner on April 21, 2007.

 Up “Rove Rap”

Karl Rove at the Annual Radio and Correspondents Dinner in March 2007.

 Up President Bush Makes Fun of Himself