The second edition of Presidential Campaign Communication is designed to help readers understand and appreciate how the people of the United States use human communication to select their presidents. It explores presidential politics as one of the things about which Americans talk, thereby building relationships, redefining communities, and shaping public identities and priorities.
Fully revised and updated throughout, the book’s twelve chapters build on its original argument and examples to highlight four key themes:
Presidential campaigns are communication Ð evolving constitutional requirements and the Digital Age create a rhetorical puzzle for aspiring presidents. Campaigning is a quest and each stage invites new strategies and metrics.
The varied impact of modes of presidential campaign communication - Laws and rules, speeches, debates, advertising, news reports, social media and entertainment are all means of influencing public debate and electoral preferences. They provide differing ways to reshape political images and perceptions during the evolving campaign.
Citizens, campaigners and reporters bring unique agendas to the campaign Ð this ‘trialogue’ of dynamic interactions constitutes communities and contests issues, images and resources.
The changing dynamics of the US electorate - Americans have sorted themselves into increasingly like-minded communities which complicates the quest for consensus, resulting in a multiplicity of opinions rather than a strong majority voice.
Written with verve and clarity, and richly illustrated with 45 case studies and detailed analysis of the 2012 campaign, the second edition of Presidential Campaign Communication is required reading for all students of politics and the media, and for anyone seeking to understand more fully the system of democracy in the United States, and the central role that communication plays therein.
2 The Stages of the Quest for the White House
3 The Campaign Trialogue: Citizens, Reporters and Campaigners
4 Campaigns as Rhetorical Puzzles
5 Laws and Rules Shape Campaign Communication
6 America’s Tribes of Voters
7 Media and Messages
8 Acclaiming, Attacking and Defending Candidate Images
9 Persuading, Fast and Slow: Advertising and Speaking
10 Reporting Campaigns for “People Like Us”
11 Presidential Debates: The Rhetorical Super Bowl
Craig Allen Smith?s Presidential Campaign Communication is a thorough, clear, and comprehensive text that details all of the important elements of presidential campaign communication. The book nicely integrates insights from both political science and communication and is sensitive to historical context. Focusing on the various communicative aspects of presidential campaigns, and full of anecdotes and examples that illustrate the theory, the book would be a useful addition to courses on the presidency, the mass media, and political campaigns.
Mary Stuckey, Georgia State University
The second edition of Presidential Campaign Communication offers a complete rearrangement and updating of content. As the next election approaches, it is definitely a book I would use in any course focused on the US presidency. Students loved the first edition. They will like this one even more.
Martin Medhurst, Baylor University
Smith?s second edition of Presidential Campaign Communication provides both breadth and depth in its insightful analysis of campaign communication. This book is one of the very best to examine the role that communication plays in US presidential campaigns.?
Mitchell S. McKinney, University of Missouri