What The Politics?! Episode 54: The ‘institutional effects of executive scandals’ with Brandon Rottinghaus


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — There have been countless presidential scandals over the course of our country’s history. Some gaining more traction and public attention than others, and a select few ending in removal of office.

In this week’s episode, we explore the impacts of executive scandals.

This week we are joined by special guest Dr. Brandon Rottinghaus. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University. His teaching and research interests include the presidency and Texas politics. His work on these subjects has appeared in several books and dozens of academic journals and edited volumes.  Most recently he is the author of the book Inside Texas Politics (Oxford University Press). 

Executive scandals are our guest’s research area of expertise, having written multiple books on the topic. He breaks down what constitutes a ‘scandal’ compared to ‘tabloid talk’. We look at the timeline of when our political leaders’ personal lives become something of such high public interest.

What was the first presidential scandal? And how do presidents’ handling of these types of situations affect their administration and affect policy? Finally, we discuss some of the most publicized and popularized presidential scandals in our nation’s history.

And stay tuned after the episode for a special message from co-host Victoria Holmes.

Rottinghaus is the co-founding designer of the Presidential Proclamations Project at the University of Houston, an online resource documenting presidential use of unilateral powers through executive proclamation.  He has provided commentary on national (New York Times, Washington Post, Politico) and Texas politics (Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Texas Tribune, Tyler Morning Telegraph, El Paso Times, San Antonio News Express, Lubbock Avalanche Journal) in hundreds of media outlets. He s the co-host of Political Perspectives, a digital series on Houston Public Media and Monday Morning Politics on Houston’s Fox 26. He is also the co-host of “Party Politics,” a podcast on Houston Public Media and the creator and weekly contributor to “Monday Morning Politics” on Houston’s Fox 26.

Related books written by guest:

The Institutional Effects of Executive Scandal (2015). New York: Cambridge University Press.

“Skeletons in the White House Closets: An Empirical Investigation into Modern Presidential Scandals.” (2012).  Political Science Quarterly 127 (2): 213-239.  With Scott Basinger.

“Stonewalling: Explaining Presidential Behavior During Scandal.” (2012).  Political Research Quarterly 65(2): 290-302. With Scott Basinger.

Dr. Brandon Rottinghaus (Contributed photo)

New episodes of “What the Politics?!” come every Tuesday. Join the conversation! 

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Email either Emily or Victoria: ECervarich@wnct.comViHolmes@wnct.com or message them on Twitter: @emily_c_tv@VicAntHol.

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