Pitching the Presidency: How Presidents Depict the Office

Synopsis

This unique study focuses upon a specific component of American presidential rhetoric--how presidents depict the office--and relates that rhetorical tactic to broader questions of politics, public opinion, political symbolism, and presidential power. The work analyzes this specific rhetorical component longitudinally, examining a president's depiction of the office during the presidential campaign, throughout his term in office, and after leaving office. By presenting and analyzing generous examples of presidential rhetoric--from Lyndon Johnson through Bill Clinton--Zernicke offers a revealing look at the symbolic power of the presidency and the use of that power in political terms.