Season 2 | Episode 3: "Bully Pulpitting"

Following the 2014 State of the Union address, this episode considers presidential rhetoric in its political and historical context. PhD student, Duncan Moench, interviews Jeffrey Tulis, author of The Rhetorical Presidency. Moench asks Tulis’s view of Obama’s biggest rhetorical successes and failures thus far.  

You can stream the episode below; you can also download it via iTunes and LibSyn.

image credit: Chubbies

Episode Producer: Duncan Moench

Heads of state have an opportunity to be heard that might seem envious. However, how much can a chief executive really accomplish through rhetoric alone? In recognition of Obama’s recent state of the union address, and the long tradition of the presidential bully pulpit, American Studies PhD student Duncan Moench interviews University of Texas at Austin Professor Jeffrey Tulis, author of The Rhetorical Presidency.

Tulis argues rhetoric itself has become the central task of the US presidency—a development many of the nation’s founders might not have wholly embraced. During their discussion, Tulis suggests a small change in state of the union tradition might allow Obama to reclaim the idea of acting as a “transformative” non-partisan leader.