Growth in Speechmaking

  • Shannon Bow O’BrienEmail author
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency book series (EAP)


O’Brien explains how presidential administrations have given more and more public speeches out of Washington, DC in the last 70 years. Many early administrations would only travel outside of the DC area on midterm and reelection years. However, in the last 30 or so years, these speeches have become far more common though cyclical patterns generally remain with presidents focusing more attention when election contests are imminent. These public speeches outside of Washington, DC also can function as the canary in the coalmine for diagnosing troubled administrations. Second-term Nixon largely abandoned speechmaking. Second-term George W. Bush stopping giving campaigning speeches after midterms. However, the large overall increases in public speechmaking outside of DC makes permanent campaigning look increasingly evident.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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