Understanding the Rhetorical Presidency

Terri Bimes

in The Oxford Handbook of the American Presidency

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199238859
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

 Understanding the Rhetorical Presidency

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This article first addresses the historical development of presidential rhetoric, with a particular focus on Jeffrey Tulis' agenda-setting study of the rhetorical presidency. It then turns to a consideration of the impact of presidential rhetoric on American politics, reviewing both quantitative political science studies and more interpretative works by political communications scholars. It finally reports the directions for further work that will capitalize on the promise of new data sources to address substantively important questions. In the end, although earlier critiques of the field of presidential rhetoric for the absence of systematic evidence gathering and hypothesis testing were largely on target, the study of presidential rhetoric has made substantial progress in recent years.

Keywords: rhetorical presidency; American politics; Jeffrey Tulis; agenda-setting; quantitative political science; political communications

Article.  11745 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Methodology

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