Playing the Game: The Presidential Rhetoric of Ronald Reagan

By Mary E. Stuckey | Go to book overview

gan presidency, and is a key factor in both the building and the destruction of the teflon presidency.


CONCLUSIONS

This period is characterized by a mixture of political and rhetorical successes and failures. Ronald Reagan ran on a platform of saving the American economy and "bringing America back." Faced with the frustration and difficulties involved in achieving the former, he increasingly turned toward the latter.

Reagan got his budget cuts and also created a recession that made serious inroads into his standing at the polls. He was seen as a political genius on the one hand, and a "rich man's president" on the other. But whatever else can be said about Ronald Reagan, he is neither a stupid nor an unperceptive man. On the contrary, he is a man who has proved himself able to learn and adapt. During this period, Reagan was both learning and adapting. The fruits of this process can be seen in his middle years as president.


NOTES
1.
George C. Edwards III, The Public Presidency: The Pursuit of Popular Support ( New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983), p. 24.
2.
John Orman, "Reagan's Imperial Presidency," (Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, Ill., August 1987).
3.
Lou Cannon, Reagan ( New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1982), p. 381.
4.
Lawrence Barrett, Gambling With History ( New York: Penguin Books, 1984), p. 442.
5.
Lester M. Salamon, "The Presidency and Domestic Policy Formation," in The Illusion of Presidential Government, eds. Hugh Heclo and Lester M. Salamon ( Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1981), p. 199.
6.
Thomas P. O'Neill with William Novak, Man of the House: The Life and Political Memoirs of Speaker Tip O'Neill ( New York: Random House, 1987), p. 344.
7.
O'Neill with Novak, Man of the House, p. 341.

-41-

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