Monday, August 6th, 2012...8:00 am
President Obama constantly reframed his priorities to the public
Research Summary: When the President speaks, the way he frames his message is heavily dependent on his audience. Obama’s speeches during his first few months in office introduced frames that were more likely to elicit specific emotions, such as sympathy or a sense of urgency, from his audience rather than present a consistent policy message. Although adapting to an audience may come as no surprise, Fucilla and Engbers find that “this buckshot approach to political communication defies conventional wisdom about the best way to influence public debate.” The frames heard in the President’s speeches did not always coincide with the public’s key concerns at the time. Do you think that this fact affected Obama’s leadership and influence as his term continued?
Citation: Fucilla, L & Engbers, T. (2011). Sounding presidential: Framing and political leadership in presidential speeches. Unpublished paper presented at the 2011 Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.