Playing the Game: The Presidential Rhetoric of Ronald Reagan

Playing the Game: The Presidential Rhetoric of Ronald Reagan

Playing the Game: The Presidential Rhetoric of Ronald Reagan

Playing the Game: The Presidential Rhetoric of Ronald Reagan

Synopsis

Playing the Game offers an exploration of the rhetoric of the "Reagan Revolution." The book fully explores how the rhetoric supported, impeded, and affected Reagan's policy goals and political success. Stuckey shows how Reagan's use of language in his public speech was instrumental in the creation of the "Teflon Presidency," and how use of this language created a situation where by the President would not remain unscathed forever--as was the case in 1986. The data for this volume includes speeches, remarks, addresses, statements, memorandums, and other forms of public speech during the Reagan years.

Excerpt

This is the period of the "teflon presidency," when Ronald Reagan's image appeared both durable and unassailable. The focus of the Reagan White House between 1983 and the end of 1985 was on foreign policy, and it was the scenario that Reagan built around foreign affairs issues that provided the basis for his political image.

It was also during this period, however, that the first seeds of the problems Reagan faced later were planted, and the first questions about his leadership ability and style were asked. Even while Reagan's image was apparently at its most invulnerable, the first tiny cracks began to appear in the teflon. This process becomes clearest with reference to both the political context and Reagan's political rhetoric between 1983-1985. The data include a total of 1,049 documents for this period: 363 from 1983, 370 from 1984, and 316 from 1985.

POLITICAL CONTEXT, 1983-1985

This period is characterized by Ronald Reagan's personal and political ascendency. That ascendency was based upon widespread public acceptance of Reagan's interpretation of events.

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