ABSTRACT

THERE is a long scholarly history dedicated to research on presidentialspeech (Brigance, 1943; Hochmuth, 1943). The term the rhetoricalpresidency was coined by political scientists James W. Ceaser, Glen E. Thurow, Jeffrey Tulis, and Joseph M. Bessette (1981) and popularized in Tulis's (1987) book of the same name. These researchers have presented analyses of changes in the institution of the presidency in the second half of the 20th century. Following their landmark work, the assumption underlying

much of the research on the rhetorical presidency has been that the role of the president within the national government has changed from emphasizing constitutionally delineated power to power based on the president's relationship with the American public. This research, undertaken primarily by political scientists, has emphasized the institutional position of the presidency within the governmental structure. Scholars have focused on the behavior of individual presidents only insofar as that behavior generated long-term changes in the presidency as an institution.