Free Custom «The Politics of Presidential Speeches» Essay Paper

Free Custom «The Politics of Presidential Speeches» Essay Paper

Speeches are part of presidential or any other political campaigns in most countries. The audience is very eager to listen to them in order to know what the politician is promising, his preferences, and mostly his line of thought. In most cases, these speeches really propel the crowd as to whether they are going to vote for the candidate or not depending on how well the speech is delivered. However, we are not sure of what drives the politicians or presidents for this matter to write and deliver these speeches.

Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha believes that low presidential ratings especially during presidential campaigns motivate the candidates deliver more policy based speeches. On the other hand, poor economy makes them deliver less policy based speeches. 

Eshbaugh-Soha argues that to attain a specific goal in future, many presidential candidates will alter their behavior and character now which is also reflected in the speeches. This is true because some will even develop a habit of appearing in functions, doing activities just to mention but a few that they could have otherwise never bothered themselves in.

The presidents know that ineffective communication is a tool of building a failing government. Both Presidents Clinton and Reagan complained of this. Most presidents, who have failed by leading public opinion, have been successful in leading by talking about policy matters. There are presidents who speak their way in to an election or a reelection. For example, the current president of U.S, President Barrack Obama, could have been elected by some people by the way he made very moving speeches. However, speeches are not always influential. In any way, when there is the chance, they should be used to bring the people together and to give the direction as to where the president’s leadership is taking the people. The following variables prove that the number of speeches made by a president in a specific period depends on the factors involved. There is no general way we can say that the number of speeches given are going to be these many.

Presidential ratings

In one way, presidential speeches cover up what the presidents have been unable to do physically. They are used to cover up the negative sides of a leadership. Speaking about what is going to be done in comparison with what is actually being done. Most speeches make a positive impact on the public.

Hypothetically, a decrease in the presidential ratings will encourage the increase of the number of speeches made. These are meant to encourage the public to vote more so as to increase the ratings. The speeches made would most probably be on what the specific candidate would do for the citizens with much improvement on the previous speeches utilizing the power of speeches to the maximum. The president encourages the public to vote for them more so as to improve his/her ratings. They even travel more in order to make more speeches to the public in different areas. For any presidential candidate, this is a crucial time whether it is the first or the second term.

Congressional environment

Bad or a negative atmosphere in the congress would most likely increase the number of speeches made. This is usually done in order to cover up what seems to be wrong and to try and gain the public’s trust. In most cases, failed policies or issues concerning the well being of the public in general will lead to an increase in speeches in the following month. The passing of policies or a bill will probably lead to a decrease in the speeches made. In other words, the better the situation, the less the speeches made and the worse the situation, the more the speeches made. The president will most likely make more speeches in order to show that what the other congress men are saying or doing is just to spoil his leadership.


A country’s economic position is very important to a president’s leadership. The better the economy the more safe a particular president is. For this reason, the president is most likely to make more speeches in order to make the public know about the small fluctuations that are occurring. However, Eshbaugh-Soha argues that the worse the economy, the more likely the president is at risk especially on the political arena. This will make him want to draw less attention to himself. For this reasons, he will make less speeches. Eshbaugh-Soha makes his hypotheses that a weak economy will make a president make fewer speeches (Eshbaugh-Soha, 2007).


Most presidents have been involved in scandals whether economical, social or personal. In most cases, scandals are used to spoil the political arena of a certain president but not show what is going on in the dark. They are more malicious than helpful.  Scandals involving a president will provoke a president to make speeches in order to cover up or explain what is being told by the media. Some of the scandals are the Watergate scandal and the Lewinsky scandal. Eshbaugh-Soha puts it that an increase with the scandals will lead to an increase in speech. The frequently made speeches will mostly be made after the media have revealed something new that was not known to the public. Such speeches are mostly in defense of the president and meant to show that the allegations made are not true.

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Domestic and international events

An issue that is more global than local will provoke a president to make a speech faster especially when it is a negative one more than a positive one. For example, a fight going on in Iraq will provoke the president of U.S to make a speech faster in order to show good leadership and governance. Negative things happening in other countries are mostly able to provoke more speeches from a president due to the status and the impression that a particular president is supposed to portray to the world.


Speeches will vary in a president’s term in office. When a president is elected, the number of speeches made will be many but will continue to decline as the months go by. During the first term they are more consistent as there is a second term to look forward to. The president wants to gain the confidence of the public as the mid term elections approach and the reelections. However, during the second term, the president will give fewer speeches as the months go by especially since there are no reelections to look forward to. In a president’s lame duck years, especially the years after the mid term elections of the second term, the president’s speeches may reduce to one in a month.

In simple terms, the president’s speeches will decrease with each increase of a month in his term. At the beginning of the term, the speeches made will mostly be more in a month than the speeches made at the end of the term and especially the second term. This is because there is nothing much to look forward to except retirement and being ‘behind the scenes’.

Dependent variable

According to the research done by Eshbaugh-Soha, the conditions mentioned above have proved to be true. Each specific hypothesis given above has proved to be true in the past years. The number of speeches made in a given period of time will greatly depend on the situation at hand. There is no definite way that can be given to say that will influence the speeches made.

The presidential ratings, the economy, domestic and international events, the scandals, controls and the congressional environment have seen to play a role in the way a president makes his speech in the past years. All these variables bring about the findings in this research.

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Each condition will influence the number of speeches made in their own different way. A crisis in the economy will make the number of presidential speeches increase. A scandal will make the number of speeches made in a month increase. An international event will provoke a speech. This is in order to show good leadership and governance especially to the world at large and to show that the president is aware of what is going on globally. A domestic event will also provoke a speech in order to show the public that they are playing out their role as presidents. It makes the public have confidence in them.  A bad congressional environment will make the number of speeches made in a specific period increase. The presidential low ratings will make the speeches made increase in comparison with high ratings. The time of a term will influence the speeches made. The speeches will increase in the period nearer to the reelections than the period nearer to moving out of office during the second term. The speeches are also more at the beginning of a term more than the end of a term especially during the second term.

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All in all, we cannot say that a particular factor is the general factor of how the president will make his speeches. Each factor brings its own repercussions. 



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