Quite often many of the implications of an academic work are most closely tied to the academy itself. Aristotle Rhetoric not only provided practical advice on the exercise of oral public discourse, but it served as the cornerstone of rhetorical theory for thousands of years and continues today to influence instruction and research. Certainly, Aristotle Rhetoric is atypical among the works of scholars, and very few works can even attempt to share its lofty status in academe. It is, however, also archetypical in a sense. The Rhetoric demonstrates that the importance of any work is often measured differently by scholars who seek heuristic assistance in framing instructional and research practices. Much like other contemporary academic works that examine practices in the so-called real world, this book will attempt to spell out some of the contributions that it can add to that pursuit. Also much like other contemporary academic works, its scope and implications will surely be dwarfed by classical works like the Rhetoric and many others, but it was my goal to add something to the scholarly community's understanding and examination of public policy discourse. This chapter will work to point out some of those contributions and perhaps spur the indirect development of others by some of its readers.
There are three interrelated areas that I will address in this chapter: (1) a preliminary assessment of the scholarly contributions made by this work, (2) a discussion of numerous research potentials generated by this work, and (3) identification of several theoretical advances associated with the understanding of the practice of public policy discourse. These three areas are interrelated in that they all share common foundations grounded in the understanding of talk as power and in the examination of the August 1994 Senate floor debate on comprehensive health care reform as a particular case study in support of that general argument. In addition to their own interrelationship, these scholarly horizons also have potential implications connected to several disciplines and to the employment of several methods of scholarly investigation. In addition to rhetorical studies scholars and others in the broader communication discipline, many who specialize in political science, sociology, public