Renowned presidential scholar Stephen Wayne takes a close look at the interplay of personal character, partisan politics, and public opinion on presidential decision-making. In this systematic study of President Obama's character, Wayne considers how Obama's policy beliefs and operating style fueled his meteoric success as a candidate, but have had a decidedly mixed impact on his governance as president. Arguing that character matters, Wayne shows that Obama's personal dimensions both contribute and detract from his policy achievements and political goals. Taking into account the environment in which President Obama took office, the book looks at how he has dealt with burdens, such as the troubled economy, the polarized political climate, and the public's mistrust of government. He sets the study of Obama within the larger literature on presidential character and explores the broader questions surrounding presidential leadership in a democratic society-whether presidents lead or follow public opinion, the extent to which leadership skills make a difference, and the kind of policy and political impact presidents can have in the twenty-first century.