2012 0-7734-3066-0 The book argues that the imperial presidency began, not with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but rather with Grover Cleveland. The role of the president was enlarged, and the role of congress diminished during his time in office.
Once the concept of the modern presidency is clearly defined according to its attributes, it becomes clear that it has evolutionary roots that extend to the late 19th century. An examination of Grover Cleveland’s presidencies shows that he laid the foundation for what has become the modern presidency by actions that took place during his two separated terms. He implemented civil service reform and scaled back the number of patronage appointments significantly, took steps towards building a professional bureaucracy. He also regained the independence of the presidency by pressuring Congress to repeal the Tenure of Office Act, and pioneered the form of political leadership that presidents exhibit today.