I am honored to be associated with some of the most well-established polysci students in the world, and look forward to meeting all of you in person. The topic I have chosen is presidential rhetoric, or more specifically, an analysis of campaign-style governing. What I mean by “Campaign-Style Governing” is the general methodological approach taken by the president during his first term that is used as a rhetorical tool to help promote his popularity and boost his and his party’s reelection bids. As the rhetorical tools of the president are extremely powerful, political scientists such as Charles O. Jones and Mary Stuckey have noticed a trend in presidents who use this tool to promote campaign goals. The debate has emerged as to where the point begins at which the president shifts his style of governing to campaign mode.
More specifically, do presidents (during their first term) push for legislation that they feel that is in the best interest for the nation or do they spin legislation to aid in reelection bids. A seemingly good example of this is the embracing of the term “Obamacare” by President Obama during the debates for the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010. Intended to be a negative term, President Obama attempted to use the term to show that Obamacare was a significant step in the right direction made by him. People often forget that Congress makes laws, not the president. With a name like Obamacare, this misconception is exponentially grown, which has potential to yield positive results for the acting president.
One of the major points is “so what?” and “how does this matter?” The American Public is kept in the dark during most legislative processes, along with the misrepresentation of how the executive is involved in national affairs, can cause a distrust and illusion of a seemingly sympathetic executive. In reality, at some point the incumbent official will use the passing of legislation and other world events (usually out of his control) to promote his image and aid in the reelection bid for their second election cycle.
Comments are always welcome, and I look forward to reading/discussing all the other topics!