The Timelessly Rhetorical Presidency: Reply to Zug

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Charles U. Zug, following Jeffrey Tulis’s The Rhetorical Presidency (1987), argues that the original design of the Constitution constrained presidents from cultivating a relationship with the American public. In reality, though, presidents are opportunistic politicians who always look for new ways to reach the public in order to gain political advantage and nurture their relationship with the people. In this effort they have often made use of new communication technologies, such that what may look like radical twentieth-century departures from previous understandings of the constitutional place of the president are actually continuous with attempts by presidents from Washington forward to engage in what was—in line with contemporaneous understandings of political issues—persuasive communication designed to influence public policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-241
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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