Role of the president during crises: A historical look

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How have presidents handled national unrest? Credit: Cezary p./Wikimedia Commons.

The U.S. is currently mired in multiple crises. The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 100,000 Americans. Tens of millions of Americans are out of jobs, and this economic devastation hasn’t been seen since the Great Depression. Peaceful protests — following the police killing of George Floyd — have been turning violent in several American cities. 

KCRW looks at the role of the president during crises, and what has happened historically. What did President George H.W. Bush do after the Rodney King verdict in 1992? Bill Clinton after the Oklahoma City bombing, and George W. Bush after 9/11?

Credits

Guest:
Timothy Naftali - Clinical Associate Professor of History and Public Service at NYU; former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library - @TimNaftali

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin, Kathryn Barnes