I've long had ambivalent views of President Eisenhower. My Republican family was enthusiastically for his election, not least because they viewed him as a "Denver boy" since he married a woman who had gone to high school with my maternal grandmother. I got excited about the Kennedy campaign and presidency and largely adopted the Democratic critique of Ike's presidency.
Some scholars have published revisionist views in recent years that I find persuasive. Over the holidays, I read a recent book dealing with a single year of his presidency that increased my admiration for the guy. David A. Nichols, Eisenhower 1956 (Simon & Schuster, 2011)
describes Eisenhower's illnesses and their impacts on policymaking [mainly because of his unavailability at the doctors' orders]. It also shows that the US
cancelled Aswan dam funding because of clear congressional opposition. As Dulles wrote to Ike: "If I had not announced our
withdrawal when I did, the Congress would certainly have imposed it on
us, almost unanimously."
I also found it significant that Ike repeatedly said
Congress would have to approve any military action, even with UK &
France. At a September 11 news conference, he said: "This country will
not go to war ever while I am occupying my present post unless the
Congress is called into session, and Congress declares such a war." He also insisted on regular briefings/consultations with
congressional leadership on possible military moves. He was a man of my own heart regarding Constitutional war powers.