The Performance of Politics

December 2nd, 2010

Presidential power passes in our nation, as in no other democracy. Our process of electing leaders, what it demands from them to meet our expectations, is grueling. In fact, arguably the skill it takes today to get elected President, may not be the best skills for governing.

In 2008 a maelstrom of forces came together to redefine still further how we elect our Presidents. The campaign performances of John McCain and Barack Obama, both defined and reflected back our national psyche. This is is both the narrow and the broader areas examined by Jeffrey Alexander in his new book The Performance of Politics: Obama's Victory and the Democratic Struggle for Power. My conversation with Jeffrey Alexander: