Limits of the Bully Pulpit and The Permanent Campaign, political science homework help

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Why is this important?

The conclusion in both the Blumenthal and Ornstein/Mann editions is United States politics will become increasingly hostile and divided, concentrated on short-term rather than long term governing, and the American public will continue to mistake the art of persuasion for the reality of governing.

Hugh Heclo of George Mason University writes the overview in the Ornstein/Mann edition. He has contempt for the intelligence of voters that allow the political process to be so degraded concluding, “leaders teach a willing people to love illusions—to like nonsense because it sounds good. That happens when a free people eventually come to believe that whatever pleases them is what is true” (34-35).

Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution and former White House staffer for the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations, and former advisor to Presidents Ford and Carter writes Chapter 2 of the Ornstein/Mann edition. He argues media may not have invented the permanent campaign, but the change in news as entertainment creates a shorter and shorter soundbyte, more confrontational reporters, and media coverage of campaigns is more like reporting game results, resulting in turning governing into campaigning.


  1. Read the paper “Presidential Persuasion: Does the Public Respond?” by George C. Edwards, III. The article examines how the permanent campaign impacts presidential leadership.  (Review pages 2 – 7). The article is in Course Documents.
  2. View the CSPAN video interviewing the author of “The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign” by Brendan Doherty, professor, United States Naval Academy
  3. Write a one page response and discuss your perspective on the “Bully Pulpit”. Should the core of the American presidency be about garnering public support for themselves and their policies? Has the division between campaigning and governing become so obscured that governing is just an extension of the campaign that got the president the office in the first place?

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