Rhetorical Analysis Of Lyndon B. Johnson's Oral Address

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Modern presidents “have a duty constantly to defend themselves publicly, to promote policy initiatives nationwide, and to inspirit the population” (Tulis 1987, 4). This is achieved through the rhetorical presidency which is a theory based on how the modern twentieth and twenty-first century presidents communicate with the people and defend their use of force and executive power in comparison to the lack of communication in the same way with previous presidents. It used to be that the majority of the president's rhetoric was directed towards Congress. They also preferred written communication over oral addresses. Tulis (1987, 5-6) states, “Prior to this century, presidents preferred written communications between the branches of government to oral addresses to ‘the people.’ The relatively few popular speeches that were made differed in character from today’s addresses. . . . Very few were domestic ‘policy speeches’ of the sort so common now, and attempts to move the nation by moral suasion in the absence of war were almost…show more content…
Johnson made effective use of his rhetoric when he promoted his “War on Poverty.” When Johnson sent the bill to Congress, he added a special written message as was customary. Johnson’s message was addressed to Congress, but the style and format of the message was more like a public speech to arouse support for his program. Now a common practice, his message used short catchy phrases that could be easily rearranged and used in the evening news. Johnson’s public demand for the “war effort” and his publicity stunts gave him the advantage he needed to pass his bill through Congress. Roosevelt and Wilson made the greatest impact on the rhetorical presidency because their effective use of oratory set a new rhetorical standard. The rhetorical presidency is now a necessary tool in the governance of the president and Americans no longer consider it inappropriate for the presidents to try and rouse public support with rhetorical
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