Politics and Current Events, Press Releases

Press Release: Campbell and Jamieson, Presidents Creating the Presidency

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Former President Bill Clinton said earlier this year that the choice facing 2008 Democratic primary voters is not “change versus experience,” but rather “words versus deeds, talk versus action, rhetoric versus reality.” No matter who becomes the next President, though, he or she will continue the long presidential tradition of acting through words to increase and sustain the powers of the executive branch. When it comes to shaping the highest office in the land, Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Kathleen Hall Jamieson reveal, deeds are done in words, and rhetoric can change reality.
In Presidents Creating the Presidency, Campbell and Jamieson expand and recast their classic Deeds Done in Words for the YouTube era, revealing how our media-saturated age has transformed the continuously evolving rhetorical strategies that increase or deplete political capital by enhancing presidential authority or ceding it to other branches. Covering chief executives from George Washington to George W. Bush, the authors add new analyses of signing statements and national eulogies to their explorations of inaugural addresses, veto messages, and war rhetoric, among other genres of presidential oratory. For two centuries, these rhetorical acts have succeeded brilliantly and failed miserably at satisfying the demands of audience, occasion, and institution. Illuminating the reasons behind each outcome, Campbell and Jamieson draw an authoritative picture of how presidents have used rhetoric to shape the presidency—and how they continue to re-create it.
Read the press release.