In this thesis, I explore the ways in which rhetoric is used as a tool within the American presidency. I also study how the concept of the heroic president and gender affect how US presidents communicate with the American people. I then examine the very story of the United States and how words can build publics and counterpublics while remaining distant from platitudes. Finally, I define the presidential function and the ways in which US presidents are able to use the power of definition to shift focus away from massive tragedies.
Whisnant, Maxwell, "The Presidential Function: An American Public Performed Through the Rhetoric of Catastrophe" (2021). English Honors Papers. 58.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.