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The Politics of Presidential Speechmaking, 1949-1980

  • Lyn Ragsdale (a1)

Extract

The study provides an empirical analysis of the determinants and consequences of presidential speechmaking, defined as the occurrence of a major, nationally broadcast and televised address. Major speeches delivered by Presidents Truman through Carter are examined during the period 1949-1980. Using a probit analysis, a prediction is made of the likelihood of a major speech occurring within a month, based on the effects of public attitudes, national conditions, and events. The results indicate that changes in public approval ratings and the presence of visible national events increase the likelihood that a president will deliver a speech. Conversely, worsening economic conditions (inflation and unemployment) as well as expanding military situations decrease speechmaking efforts. The findings also demonstrate that a president's popularity increases significantly with the delivery of a major address.

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The Politics of Presidential Speechmaking, 1949-1980

  • Lyn Ragsdale (a1)

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