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Ronald L. Feinman

Ronald L. Feinman received his Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate School in 1975. His dissertation advisor was Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Dr. Feinman is the author of “Twilight of Progressivism: The Western Republican Senators and the New Deal” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981) and “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama” (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, 2015, Paperback Edition 2017). In addition to this blog, Dr. Feinman has blogged at TheProgressiveProfessor.com since 2008 and is a political and historical Commentator on Radio Station WWGH, 107.1 FM, Marion, Ohio. Dr. Feinman has spent nearly a half century as Professor of American History, Government and Politics and is still teaching a US Presidency class at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida every Fall and Spring term.



  • Governing With an Evenly Divided Senate is a Rare Tightrope Act

    by Ronald L. Feinman

    The current US Senate, monkeywrenched by the filibuster and unified Republican obstruction, is unlike any of the three prior Senates with even partisan representation. It appears Biden will need every one of his Senators to change the filibuster rules to have a chance of passing legislation.


  • Obama's Reputation With Scholars and the Public Likely to Rise

    by Ronald L. Feinman

    There are many reasons why Barack Obama's ranking among the presidents is likely to rise. Some deal with the perceptions of the raters, but a key factor will be if scholarship reevaluates his relationship to the Republican Congresses during his presidency.


  • Presidents Who Look Better or Worse by Comparison

    by Ronald L. Feinman

    Some successful presidents have had their reputations enhanced by the low regard of their predecessors and successors, while others have had their light dimmed in comparison. The 21st century will challenge future historians to separate their evaluations of George W. Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden from the relative standing of the others. 


  • State Governors and the Presidency

    by Ronald L. Feinman

    Despite the seemingly obvious benefit of being a state's chief executive, relatively few presidents have served as state governors first. 


  • From The Senate to the Presidency: Many Try, Few Succeed

    by Ronald L. Feinman

    Given its importance in the government and the prominence of its members, the Senate has sent relatively few of its members to the Oval Office, and even fewer have used a long Senate career as a springboard to the presidency.


  • Who Will Form the Biden Cabinet?

    by Ronald L. Feinman

    A presidential and political historian suggests choices for a Biden cabinet that will please (most) of the Democratic base, have a chance to win nomination by the Senate, not put any Democratic Senate seats at risk, and help the new president govern effectively. 


  • The Controversial Presidential Succession Act of 1947

    by Ronald L. Feinman

    The current law of Presidential succession could put a leader from outside the executive branch and from the opposite party into the White House without the support of voters. Trump's COVID scare shows such a potential crisis of legitimacy is not impossible. The law needs to be changed.