Partner to Power: The Secret World of Presidents and Their Most Trusted Advisers (Hardcover)
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A former congressional staffer and Capitol Hill veteran recounts the colorful history of presidential advisers, showing how influential these unelected appointees have been. This revealing book examines the relationships between U.S. presidents and their closest advisers from a psychological, personal, and professional point of view. The author, a Capitol Hill veteran, shows why such relationships are necessary, how presidents have employed them, how they have evolved over successive administrations, and why some believe they are not in the best interests of the nation. Cummings describes relationships that have sometimes been tense, such as the fractious association between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton; or complicated, as seen in the often-troubled understanding between Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton; or controversial, as in the influence of Vice President Dick Cheney on the decision making of George W. Bush. There have also been close friendships, such as the bond between Abraham Lincoln and William Seward; the long-term partnership of Franklin Roosevelt and Louis Howe; and, more recently, the trusting reliance of Barack Obama on Valerie Jarrett. Whether their connection with presidents was close or strained, these "partners to power" had an impact on some of history's most important moments and decisions. Full of interesting vignettes, insights, and little-known facts, this is a fascinating insider's account of the exercise of power at the highest levels.
About the Author
K. Ward Cummings is a former senior adviser to members of Congress. Before coming to Congress, he was director of the Division of International and Intergovermental Relations for the Maryland state government. He is a board member of the Harold W. Rosenthal Fellowship, a nonprofit that helps to secure government internships for young professionals. Formerly, he was a senior adviser to the Partnership for a Secure America (PSA), where he helped create the Capitol Leaders Program, a collaboration between Harvard University's Program on Negotiation and PSA to teach negotiation and conflict-resolution skills to senior congressional staffers. In addition, he was a member of the National Journal Group's Policymakers Council.