I just finished the reading on Presidential Power, and, while I think that Neustadt makes some persuasive arguments and looks at the Presidency in a different way, I do not agree with his examples on the ability of the President to "persuade." "Persuade," according to Neustadt, is a code word for bargaining and he says that all Presidents must bargain. They must also use the power of their office to give them more leverage. Fine. I can see how a secretary could be intimidated and struck by the awesome power of the presidency when he or she is standing in the Oval Office. I think Neustadt wades into murkier water when he seems to suggest that Truman effectively used his position as President to increase his bargaining leverage in instituting the Marshall Plan. He claims that if Truman had not assembled the men he did at the time that he did, it is very unlikely that the Marshall Plan would have gone ahead. As I see it, though, the Marshall Plan enjoyed a lot of popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. Europeans were receptive because it would help re-build their continent and Americans were receptive because it marked a peaceful illustration of America's commitment to Capitalism and Democracy. Besides, it was hardly Truman's brainchild. Truman may have clobbered together the right minds, but this example is hardly reflective of a President using his elevated position to further his own bargaining power to get a piece of legislation passed. The Marshall Plan is more of a reflection of the genius of Truman's staff in determining American foreign policy than it is of Truman's power of "persuasion."
A better example of "persuasion," president style, can be seen in the infamous picture of President Johnson and Senator Russell above.