Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. vii-ix

Acknowledgments

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p. xi

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Chapter 1 From Retrospect To Prospect: The Study of Presidential Rhetoric, 1915–2005

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pp. 3-27

The field formerly known as speech has contributed substantially to our knowledge about presidential rhetoric. For the past ninety years, scholars of speech and communication have analyzed how language functions to achieve particular goals for speakers. Until quite recently, speech scholars thought of the primary object of their studies...

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Chapter 2 Power and Authority in a Postmodern Presidency

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pp. 28-45

Dawn came grudgingly. Overcast skies and temperatures in the forties greeted presidents and protestors as they rolled out of bed and prepared for the Inauguration. Conditions worsened as the ceremony approached, with the temperature dipping into the low thirties, a nasty cold rain falling on the just and unjust alike, and southerly gusts of wind buffeting the president-elect...

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Chapter 3 The Econo-Rhetorical Presidency

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pp. 46-68

One of the most important moments in the history of the American presidency occurred in 1951, during what was perhaps Harry Truman’s most difficult year in office. I would guess that almost no one in this room is able to name the event; it is not discussed at all in David McCullough’s biography or in Truman’s own...

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Chapter 4 The Return of the Imperial Presidency

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pp. 69-98

When George W. Bush’s administrative decision makers looked for judicial precedents that would help them deal with exigencies like 9/11, we now know that they had plenty of judicial cases from which to choose. On the one hand, our legal archives are filled with legal opinions that have jurists and treatise writers commenting on how the mere declaration of an emergency...

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Chapter 5 To Produce A "Judicious Choice": Presidential Responses to the Exercise of Advice and Consent by the U.S. Senate on Supreme Court Nominations

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pp. 99-129

On January 16, 2004, just three days before the annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr., President George W. Bush took a remarkable step in the ongoing struggle with the Senate over his judicial nominations. Bypassing the advice and consent provisions of the Constitution’s Article II, the president issued a recess...

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Chapter 6 The Rhetorical Presidency and the Myth of the American Dream

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pp. 130-159

The. American. Dream. Three words, arguably, that identify one of the most powerful yet complex ideas in human existence. James Adams’s 1931 groundbreaking work The Epic of America gave name to this idea when he summarized centuries of experience on the North American continent. He defined America as “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man...

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Chapter 7 Of Allies and Enemies: Old Wine in New Bottles or New Wine in an Old Jug?

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pp. 160-181

The advice given by George Washington in his Farewell Address, “to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world,” was taken to heart by subsequent administrations for nearly 150 years and still seems to inform much of our interaction with foreign...

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Chapter 8 Revising the Cold War Narrative to Encompass Terrorist Threats: Vietnam and Beyond

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pp. 182-208

In September of 2006, the Bush Administration released its National Strategy for Combating Terrorism. The document portrayed the current war on terror as different from previous conflicts, with a key distinguishing feature being the nature of the threat. As the National Strategy surmised, “Our understanding of the enemy has evolved as well...

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Chapter 9 George W. Bush, Public Faith, and the Culture of War over Same-Sex Marriage

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pp. 209-237

No one knows when the culture wars started. It is entirely pos- sible that there have always been culture wars in America— over slavery, women’s rights, temperance, the rights of labor, pacifism in time of war, and on and on. Clearly such issues divided the electorate, revolved around values, and resulted in significant changes in public policy...

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Chapter 10 Thinking Harder About Presidential Discourse: The Question of Efficacy

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pp. 238-250

The chapters in this book were originally presented at the tenth Texas A&M conference on presidential rhetoric. So I begin by thanking Marty Medhurst, who oversaw those ten conferences and whose vision and energy sustained them. Readers should also be grateful to Jim Aune for having overseen the tenth annual conference...

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Chapter 11 Report of the National Task Force on the Presidency and Deliberative Democracy

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pp. 251-271

The idea of deliberation looms large in the American imaginary. On one hand, it is impossible to consider U.S. history without also imagining lively public conversations, debates, protests, and demonstrations. In such imaginings, America’s charter was born from the Founders’ deliberations, with subsequent events such as the Lincoln- Douglas debates...

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Chapter 12 Report of the National Task Force on Presidential Communication to Congress

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pp. 272-292

Public misperception notwithstanding, the president is not the government but is part of a Madisonian system, designed to share power with other branches.1 As Richard Neustadt noted in 1960, the Constitution created a system not of separated powers but of separate institutions...

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Chapter 13 Report of the National Task Force on the Presidency and Public Opinion

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pp. 293-316

The National Task Force on the Presidency and Public Opinion was charged with assessing scholarship at the nexus of two topics that have produced large, interdisciplinary bodies of literature: the presidency and public opinion. Under the space constraints of this report, we cannot possibly review all of that literature...

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Chapter 14 Report of the National Task Force on the Ethical Responsibilities of the Presidential Rhetoric

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pp. 317-339

Part of the implicit charge of this task force is to call the presidency to its ethical obligations, most particularly with respect to its rhetorical activities. And yet as any observer of the ongoing four-year cycles of presidential campaigning has come to see, American political discourse is saturated with candidate rhetoric designed...

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Chapter 15 Report of the National Task Force on the Theory and Practice of the Rhetorical Presidency

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pp. 340-354

The processes and goals that guided participants in the 1970 National Developmental Project on Rhetoric served as the starting point for the task force’s work. In January and May meetings that year, “scholars from several fields considered rhetoric’s past and future, identified the problems in contemporary life which require applications...

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Chapter 16 Report of the National Task Force on Presidential Rhetoric in Times of Crisis

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pp. 355-378

Presidential crises are rhetorical constructs, transacted and mediated between the president and the public. According to Murray Edelman, “The word ‘crisis’ connotes a development that is unique and threatening.”1 To call a set of events a crisis, he argued, is to imply that a given event is different from routine political and social issues...

Contributors

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pp. 379-380

Index

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pp. 381-384