Role of the president during crises: A historical look

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?



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