On Deaf Ears

The Limits of the Bully Pulpit

George C. Edwards III

View Inside Price: $32.00


May 10, 2006
320 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300115819
Paper

Also Available in:
Cloth

The typical legislative strategy for recent presidents has been to move Congress by winning public support.  George Edwards analyzes hundreds of public opinion polls and finds that this strategy usually fails.  He explains why presidents are frequently unable to move public opinion and suggests they use other means to achieve legislative success.

"That presidents use the ‘bully pulpit’ to exert influence in Washington is a truism of American Politics. What Edwards finds in this remarkable book is that the truism isn’t true, that presidents—even those at the top of their form—persistently fail to move public sentiment in preferred directions."—James A. Stimson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Every serious scholar and student of American politics should read this book."—Robert Y. Shapiro, Columbia University

 "Edwards has done it again!  A bold, direct, convincing challenge to 30 years of literature."-Richard E. Neustadt, author of Presidential Power

George C. Edwards III is Distinguished Professor and the Jordan Chair in Presidential Studies, Texas A & M University. He is also the author of At the Margins: Presidential Leadership of Congress and Why the Electoral College is Bad for America, both published by Yale University Press

“That presidents use the ‘bully pulpit’ to exert influence in Washington is a truism of American Politics. What Edwards finds in this remarkable book is that the truism isn’t true, that presidents—even those at the top of their form—persistently fail to move public sentiment in preferred directions.”—James A. Stimson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Edwards has done it again! A bold, direct, convincing challenge to 30 years of literature. And (as he says) ‘conventional wisdom’ on ‘Going Public’ from the White House.”—Richard E. Neustadt, Harvard University, and author of Presidential Power

“Every serious scholar and student of American politics should read this book. It will surely be ‘must reading’ for any course on the American presidency.”—Robert Y. Shapiro, Columbia University

"Theoretically rich and methodologically rigorous . . . an instant classic that belongs on every syllabus in courses about the American presidency."—Costas Panagopoulos, Public Opinion Quarterly

"Edwards presents compelling evidence that, for all the power of the office, presidential rhetoric scarcely moves the public—or its representatives in Washington—on particular pieces of legislation. . . . Edwards leaves us with the provocative idea that we don't need a great communicator so much as a great negotiator in the White House."—Elvin T. Lim, Wall Street Journal (One of five best books about presidential rhetoric)

Chosen as one of the Five Best books on presidential rhetoric by Elvin T. Lim of The Wall Street Journal