It’s the rhetoric, stupid…

Those of us who study the rhetoric of the presidency often assert that the essence of presidential power is rhetorical power, the ability to use that “bully good pulpit” to move policy decisions or win elections. The effective use of language (perhaps the most basic definition of rhetoric) is also important to winning the presidency.

A memo by Al From, founder and CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council, and Bruce Reed, president of the DLC, outlines what the current crop of Democrats must do to win the presidency in 2004. It is a mini treatise of rhetorical political theory.

What you’ll discover as you read this memo is the political importance of defining terms, creating an effective image, and marshaling appropriate arguments, i.e. a balance of appeals. Some of this rhetorical advice is overt. Much of it you’ll discover between the lines of specific political/policy advice.

I’ll have more the say about this memo in the coming weeks because it offers voters a glimpse at what to watch for in a presidential campaign. Later today, when time permits, I’ll post a .pdf file so that you may refer to it. Watch for updates. (via PoliticalWire)

UPDATE (3:52 p.m.): Here is a .pdf file of the memo. I plan to refer to it often in the coming weeks.