chapter  6
9 Pages

The Rhetorical Presidency and the Contemporary Media Environment

WithSusan Herbst

Presidential rhetoric can matter immensely in moments of national crisis, and even during times of less melodrama. But the possibilities for rhetorical impact are slipping away from American presidents. In light of the multiplication of presidential spokespeople, commentators, on-line editors, and audiences, and the relative intimacy of other personalities viewed by those audiences, one might posit that “presidential speech,” as described and analyzed by Tulis, is hurtling toward its demise. Tulis’s important thesis may therefore need some serious updating.