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1) Explain and summarize each of the four Presidential Characteristics according to Dr. James David Barber. In your response, please mention one president from each category. 2) Which personality do you feel is most ideal for a president to possess? Remember, the president at times must compromise with congressional leaders, not to mention the other limits to presidential power (i.e., advice and consent, impeachment and conviction). Therefore, which personality is most ideal, in spite of the limitations to the office of the presidency? 3) Please place President Barack Obama and Donald Trump in a respective category. Be sure to explain your reasoning, and mention specific aspects that support your answer (do a Google search if you must). This question is intended to be fun but also requires you to be specific within your categorization.

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In The Presidential Character, James D. Barber analyzed US presidents according to two criteria: whether they were active or passive in their approach to the office and whether they regarded it in positive or negative terms. According to this analysis, presidents fell into one of four essential types: passive-positive, passive-negative, active-positive, and active-negative.

Passive-positive presidents tend to be genial and likeable and are often popular with the American people but can lack the courage to make politically unpopular decisions. Examples include William Howard Taft and Ronald Reagan.

Passive-negative presidents are those who regard the presidency as a burden which they assume from a sense of duty. They do not enjoy it and are glad to give it up. Examples include Calvin Coolidge and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Active-positive Presidents are exuberant and enthusiastic about the presidency, relishing the challenge of the office. Examples include Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Active-negative presidents are power-hungry, inflexible, and dictatorial. Barber says that they are the most dangerous category and have "a strong bent for digging their own graves." Examples include Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

The ideal personality for the president depends to some extent on the circumstances of the presidency. An active-positive president is probably most suitable for times of crisis. In times of peace and prosperity, one could make a case for either a passive-positive or a passive-negative president. The former will probably be more popular but the latter is less open to corruption, being actuated by a sense of public duty.

It is quite clear, given the above categories, that Barack Obama was a passive-positive president and Donald Trump is the exact opposite, an active-negative president. Barber says that passive-positive presidents "help soften the harsh edges of politics" by coalition-building, which was always Obama's approach. However, this means that they are in danger of being led into policies in which they do not truly believe (such as Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East) or abandoning objectives (such as closing Guantanamo Bay).

Active-negative President's, in sharp contrast, are authoritarian and fail to take account of the views of others. This fits in with President Trump's tendency to release information via Twitter rather than using official channels and the high turnover of government officials and White House staff in his administration.

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James D. Barber was a political scientist at Duke University and the author of The Presidential Character. First published in 1972, this book puts presidents into four categories based on their personality types. Barber's findings were both controversial and acclaimed.

According to Barber's typology, active/negative presidents make bold moves and fail spectacularly. Richard Nixon was one of those presidents. His illegal conduct led to the expansion of the Vietnam War and, ultimately, to his resignation after the Watergate scandal. Donald Trump is another quintessential example of this type.

George Washington exemplified the second category: the passive/negative. These people do not make great presidential leaders; they serve as president because they think they should. George Washington would have preferred retirement, but he knew the new nation needed him.

The more successful presidents are typically active/positive types. Franklin Roosevelt was one of these. His New Deal programs and upbeat speeches were what the country needed during the Great Depression.

Passive/positive types have been popular with the American public. These men have tended to be agreeable and cooperative, but their presidencies were not great. Ronald Reagan was one of these types.

Barack Obama was probably either an active/positive or passive/positive type of president.

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According to political scientist Dr. James David Barber, there are four basic types of presidential character or psyche: active-positive, active-negative, passive-postive, and passive-negative.

The active-positive president is characterized by high self-esteem, optimism, and flexibility in their dealings in the political sphere. An example would be Franklin Roosevelt.

An active-negative president is a rigid, aggressive, joyless personality type, for whom the pursuit of power is a means to self-realization. Richard Nixon is a good example of this type.

A passive-positive president is one who is genial, ingratiating, and eager to please but also vulnerable due to low-self esteem. Ronald Reagan is typical of this character type.

Passive-negative presidents exhibit a desire to avoid power along with low self-esteem, but this is countered by a strong sense of duty toward the office. One example of such a president is Calvin Coolidge.

Given the inherent limitations of the presidency in a Constitutional system of checks and balances, there seems little doubt that the flexible style and optimistic spirit of the active-positive presidential character seems best adapted to the office.

Barack Obama seems to best fit the active-positive type, given his optimism and flexible approach to political problems. One example would be the wide range of political, professional, and corporate participants with conflicting interests that he was able to bring together to negotiate the Affordable Care Act.

The active-negative label is probably the most accurate of these four types for Donald Trump. An example of this character would be his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for an open seat on the Supreme Court, against the recommendations of his advisors, and his resolutely aggressive promotion of this questionable candidate in the face of very strong political opposition.

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