Jeffrey Tulis on 'The Rhetorical Presidency' on Steroids

By Jen Patja Howell
Saturday, January 26, 2019, 1:30 PM

On a flight recently, Benjamin Wittes read a book that knocked his socks off: "The Rhetorical Presidency" by political scientist Jeffrey Tulis. While written in 1987, the book seems to anticipate our current president.

In response, he got on the phone with Tulis to talk about the book, which covers how the speaking style of presidents changed from the Founding era through the 19th century and into the 20th century, and how the hyper-rhetorical style of Donald Trump, where he's talking all the time, is really an extension of developments that had been going on all through the 20th century.