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The Evolutionary Rhetorical Presidency

Tracing the Changes in Presidential Address and Power

Ryan Lee Teten

This book is an evolutionary examination of the rhetoric of the President of the United States, from George Washington to George W. Bush. It provides a close analysis of the history and content of inaugural addresses, State of the Union addresses, presidential proclamations, and executive orders in order to trace the changes in their use and impact from their origin to the present day. Content analysis of these forms of executive address are combined with case studies and illustrations to provide a complete look at the way that – contrary to the widely held ascription to a clear «traditional» versus «modern» divide – the presidents of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries have all contributed to the rhetorical tools and powers that the current president wields in the execution of his duty. The Evolutionary Rhetorical Presidency is widely useful not only for standard governmental classes on, for example, the Presidency or on political communication, but also for courses in history, leadership studies, and rhetoric.

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LIST OF FIGURES ..................................................................................... ix ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ......................................................................... xiii I. RHETORICAL LEADERSHIP AND PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHMAKING THROUGHOUT HISTORY............................... 1 Presidential Rhetoric and Policymaking................................................... 5 Changes Within the Presidency and Presidential Rhetoric....................... 9 Four Kinds of Presidential Address........................................................ 15 Defining Rhetoric as Power.................................................................... 20 Research Design and Collection of Data................................................ 23 The Plan of the Book and the Findings of the Study.............................. 26 II. SPEAKING TO THE PEOPLE: THE USE OF POPULAR ADDRESS ......................................................................... 31 A “Modern” Rhetorical Presidency? ...................................................... 32 Speaking to the People or to Congress? ................................................. 34 Different Forms of Rhetoric of Popular Address ................................... 37 Identification Rhetoric............................................................................ 38 Authority Rhetoric.................................................................................. 40 Directive Rhetoric .................................................................................. 41 The Popular Address Rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence ................................................................................... 42 Tracing the Use of Identification Rhetoric ............................................. 47 Tracing the Use of Authority Rhetoric ................................................... 70 Tracing the Use of Directive Rhetoric.................................................... 86 Popular Rhetoric and Presidential Address .......................................... 102 III. EXCAVATING THE BULLY PULPIT: THE FOUNDATION AND EVOLUTION OF POLICY PROPOSAL .............................. 107 The Length of the State of the Union Address ..................................... 110 The Evolutionary Rhetorical Presidency viii The Presidency and Policy Proposition in the State of the Union Address .......................................................................................... 114 The Presidency and Policy Proposition in the Inaugural Address........ 126 The Presidency and Policy Proposition in Presidential Proclamations................................................................................. 136 The Presidency and Policy Proposition in Executive Orders ............... 149 Policy and Policymaking in Presidential History ................................. 158 IV. THE BIGGER PICTURE: VISIONS FOR THE NATION AND THE WORLD ................................................. 161 Visionary Speech, Policy Propositions, and Presidential Address ....... 163 Visionary Speech in the State of the Union Address............................ 164 Visionary Speech in the Inaugural Address ......................................... 171 Visionary...

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