("Like") On the other hand, President Bush had his own shares of defeat. In the 1980 Republican presidential nominations, he was unsuccessful in winning the bid. But in 1981, he served as the country's vice president for eight years under the Reagan administration. And it was only in 1988 when he had finally won the Republican nomination for President, for which he took Dan Quayle as his running mate during the election. ("Bush")
Unlike his predecessor, Bush arrived at the presidency with considerable knowledge about the ways of Washington and experience with leading a staff closely similar to the president's own. (Relyea, 1997) On the other hand, there have been several criticisms regarding his governance when people had thought he learned from his predecessors.
The book written by Hess clearly shows the abilities of the presidents who assumes the office and their unique personalities towards their responsibilities. Presidents are assumed to have very little knowledge and understanding, as well as very limited skills in running a government. The actual responsibilities of the office are but unclear to them on the onset of the term. However, these abilities, skills and understanding of the responsibilities are often learned in the long run yet they could not escape the part where they will have to undergo a transition of imitation of the previous presidents. Their transition stage is crucial such that this is where the presidents will have to develop their own skills according to their traits and priorities which are vital in the development, performance, and course of the administration. (Borrelli, 2003)
In congruence to this statement, Farrar-Myers at the same time notes that "Presidents often are tied to the legacy of the office holders who came before them. Sometimes a president assumes the office upon the death of his predecessor and, therefore, is expected at the start of his presidency to follow the predecessor's agenda until he is able to establish his own course." (Farrar-Myers, 2001)
History could not deny this fact such that there had been several vice-presidents who had continued the agenda of their predecessors when they died or take their turns as president. Some of these are John Tyler; Chester Arthur; Harry Truman; and Lyndon Johnson, for example. (Farrar-Myers, 2001)
There are also times though wherein presidents purposefully follow the agenda of their predecessors. They come to base their presidency according to an assumption that they will have to continue the same policy since the president before them at the same time followed the policies that the previous president has had before them. It is a choice that some of the presidents like James Madison following Jefferson; Martin Van Buren and James Polk as Jacksonian Democrats; William Taft's campaign (if not actual presidency) to follow in Theodore Roosevelt's progressivism; and, most recently, George Bush's election to carry on the Reagan Revolution. (Farrar-Myers, 2001)
Based from Hess's suggestion, it could be derived that President Bush could have at one point imitated the administrative styles of his predecessors before he had gained his own unique style in running his