Pitching the Presidency: How Presidents Depict the Office

By Paul Haskell Zernicke | Go to book overview

2
The Public Meaning of the Presidency

Richard Nixon was correct when he wrote that "the American myth that Presidents are always presidential, that they sit in the Oval Office talking in lofty and quotable phrases, will probably never die and probably never should, because it reflects an important aspect of the American character."1 We should not be surprised that presidents sustain and use that mystique. However, the idealization of the office also puts its occupant under constant pressure. On the other side of public affection and respect for the presidency are accountability and discontent. An analysis of how presidents depict the office and why they do so should begin with a discussion of what the President means to Americans.

The job requires a president to fulfill many conflicting roles. The idealistic and contradictory nature of these roles is central to understanding the origin and types of depictions a president offers the American public. High public expectations and political limitations generally encourage presidents to talk to the public about the presidency. Our fascination with the office makes us vulnerable to the roles a president cites to justify a controversial action. And modern presidents, who lack congressional and bureaucratic support, have increasingly gone public to gain political leverage.

The President is frequently an appropriate but intimidating target for criticism. Perhaps New York columnist Jimmy Breslin summarized it best: 2 "The office of the President is such a bastardized thing, half royalty and half democracy, that nobody knows whether to genuflect or spit." Another writer insists that the presidency has symbolic power over even the most rational people "which they may be loathe to admit." 3

Even the dissenting attitudes held by high-level advisors can be reduced to an acquiescent murmur in the presence of the President. Chester Cooper

-9-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Pitching the Presidency: How Presidents Depict the Office
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 175

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.