Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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CONTENTS

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p. vii

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-xi

I began research on this study before George W. Bush assumed office in 2001. Even prior to September 11, I believed that the topic of presidential moral rhetoric was potentially important for understanding executive power and authority. Throughout several years of writing first a dissertation and then this book, I remained ...

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Chapter 1 Presidential Moral Leadership and Rhetoric

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pp. 3-19

Four months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Pres. George W. Bush stood before Congress to give the annual State of the Union Address. With an 85 percent approval rating from the American public and firm support from legislators on both sides of the aisle, Bush seized this rhetorical opportunity to showcase his role as ...

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Chapter 2 Rhetorical Patterns of the Annual and Inaugural Addresses, 1790–2003

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pp. 20-43

From time to time, all presidents use moral and religious appeals in their rhetoric. But the only way to determine if historical fluctuations or empirical patterns exist is by creating a research design that incorporates quantitative content analysis. The data presented in this chapter are drawn from the Annual and Inaugural Addresses of ...

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Chapter 3 The Politics of Reinforcing Moral Rhetoric

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pp. 44-82

A political cartoon from the 1990s illustrates how presidential leadership has changed in the past two centuries by comparing Bill Clinton to George Washington. In the depiction, Washington uttered famously, “I cannot tell a lie.” In response to the fi rst president, Clinton’s contorted visage boomed, “Amateur.” The cartoon is humorous ...

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Chapter 4 The Politics of Moral Restraint

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pp. 83-129

Calvin Coolidge was known for his reticence. When he was president, a woman approached him at a social function and revealed that she bet her friend she could persuade Coolidge to say at least three words during the course of the evening. Coolidge looked at her and simply responded, “You lose.” Although the story has become ...

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Chapter 5 The Politics of Strategic Moral Rhetoric

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pp. 130-169

In his 1965 State of the Union Address, Lyndon Johnson confessed, “A president’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.” Johnson implied that presidents must possess a foresight to guide their decision-making. His observation is directly applicable to moral leadership. For presidents, advertising a moral ...

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Chapter 6 The Future of Rhetorical Moralism in the Presidency

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pp. 170-182

When campaigning for the presidency in 1932, Franklin Roosevelt concluded that the office he sought was not merely administrative but “preeminently a place of moral leadership.” At the National Press Club several decades later, presidential candidate John Kennedy reiterated Roosevelt’s observation, stating that the ...

METHODOLOGICAL APPENDIX

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pp. 183-186

NOTES

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pp. 187-202

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 203-216

Index

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pp. 217-223