The Bully Pulpit, Presidential Speeches, and the Shaping of Public Policy
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Issue framing is the way that people, especially politicians, get other people to view a particular problem or issue. By framing the issue in a particular way, the goal is to get people to think about the issue, to believe that an action is required and, most importantly, to believe that a particular action (the one being proposed by the framer) is the right one. The use of language and imagery is an essential part of issue framing and has been an integral part of the presidency since our nation's founding, but it has become particularly important since Theodore Roosevelt began to take his message directly to the people. This work examines a selected speech delivered by every president from Roosevelt through Barack Obama to show how language has been instrumental in directing policy. Each chapter will examine the situation or background for the problem, include a transcript of the speech the president delivered, and conclude with an analysis of the speech in terms of the particular frame that the speech utilized and the eventual outcome, or policy direction, inspired by the speech.