In The Rhetorical Presidency, Jeffrey Tulis argues that the president’s relationship to the public has changed dramatically since the Constitution was enacted: while previously the president avoided any discussions of public policy so as to avoid demagoguery, the president is now expected to go directly to the public, using all the tools of rhetoric to influence public policy. This has effectively created a "second" Constitution that has been layered over, and in part contradicts, the original one. In our volume, scholars from different subfields of political science extend Tulis’s perspective to the judiciary and Congress; locate the origins of the constitutional change in the Progressive Era; highlight the role of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and the mass media in transforming the presidency; discuss the nature of demagoguery and whether, in fact, rhetoric is undesirable; and relate the rhetorical presidency to the public’s ignorance of the workings of a government more complex than the Founders imagined.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society.
Table of Contents
Introduction. 1. The Rhetorical Presidency in Historical and Conceptual Context, Jeffrey Friedman Essays. 2. The Practical Origins of the Rhetorical Presidency, Terri Bimes. 3. Demagoguery, Statesmanship, and the American Presidency, James W. Ceaser. 4. The Layered Rhetorical Presidency, David A. Crockett. 5. The Hyper-Rhetorical Presidency, John J. Diiulio Jr. 6. The Idea of an Un-Rhetorical Presidency, Bryan Garsten. 7. The Rhetorical Presidency and the Contemporary Media Environment, Susan Herbst. 8. A Rhetorical Judiciary, Too? Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Jeffrey Gottfried. 9. Presidents’ Party Affiliations and their Communication Strategies, Mel Laracey. 10. The Rhetorical Presidency and the Partisan Echo Chamber, Nicole Mellow. 11. The Rhetorical and Administrative Presidencies Sidney M. Milkis. 12. The Puzzle of The Rhetorical Presidency, Thomas Pangle. 13. Presidential Rhetoric from Wilson to "W": Popular Politics Meets Recalcitrant Reality, Richard M. Pious. 14. When the President Speaks, How Do the People Respond?, Paul J. Quirk. 15. Allegories of Reading Tulis, Diane Rubenstein. 16. "Publicity" and the Progressive-Era Origins of Modern Politics, Adam D. Sheingate. Reply 17. The Rhetorical Presidency in Retrospect, Jeffrey K. Tulis.
Jeffrey Friedman, a visiting scholar in the Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin, received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University. He is the author of Engineering the Financial Crisis (Penn, 2011, with Wladimir Kraus) and the editor of The Rational Choice Controversy: Economic Models of Politics Reconsidered (Yale, 1996), What Caused the Financial Crisis (Penn, 2011), and The Nature of Belief Systems (Routledge, 2011).
Shterna Friedman received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa. They are, respectively, the editor and managing editor of Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society and the co-editors of Political Knowledge (Routledge, 2012).