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Economic Actors, Economic Behaviors, and Presidential Leadership

The Constrained Effects of Rhetoric

C. Damien Arthur

There is considerable disagreement about whether the U.S. president has a direct and measurable influence over the economy. The analysis presented in Economic Actors, Economic Behaviors, and Presidential Leadership: The Constrained Effects of Rhetoric suggests that while presidents have increased their rhetoric regarding the economy, they have not had much success in shaping it. Considering this research, Arthur argues that the president’s decision to address the economy so often must stem from a symbolic placation or institutional necessity that is intended to comfort constituencies or somehow garner electoral advocacy from the party’s base. No other viable explanation exists given the lack of results presidents obtain from discussing the economy and their persistent determination to do so. This discrepancy suggests that presidential rhetoric on the economy is, at best, a tool used to appear concerned to everyone and toe the party-line to their base. Arthur presents an overview of economic rhetoric from the presidential office that will be of interest to scholars of the economy and political communication. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 180Size: 6 1/2 x 9 3/8
978-0-7391-8783-8 • Hardback • July 2014 • $80.00 • (£49.95)
978-0-7391-8784-5 • eBook • July 2014 • $79.99 • (£49.95)
C. Damien Arthur is assistant professor of political science at West Virginia State University.
Chapter 1: Presidential Rhetoric and the Economy
Chapter 2: Ascertaining Presidential Influence with Economic Actors
Chapter 3: Presidential Rhetoric and the Federal Reserve
Chapter 4: Presidential Rhetoric and Public Perceptions
Chapter 5: Congressional Actions as Preeminent Economic Leadership

Chapter 6: Conclusions

Using the president’s rhetoric on the national economy as an analytic wedge, this nicely written study adds to our understanding of the role presidential rhetoric plays—and fails to play—in influencing policy making and policy makers. C. Damien Arthur’s book will be of particular interest to students and scholars with an interest in economic policy, presidential rhetoric, and the ways in which they intersect.
Mary E. Stuckey, Georgia State University

C. Damien Arthur’s Economic Actors, Economic Behaviors, and Presidential Leadership takes a skeptical and data-driven look at a major question for scholars of the presidency: does presidential rhetoric matter, and if so, how? The book is sure to be of interest to students of presidential rhetoric.
Thomas W. Benson, Pennsylvania State University