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ERIC Number: ED186954
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Carter and the Evolution of Political Image.
The present "crisis of leadership" in the United States presidency owes much to a communication environment that undermines the politician's ability to behave like and be perceived as a traditional "great leader." Through constant electronic coverage politicians' freedom to isolate themselves from their audience has been limited, annihilating their "rehearsal stage" for public pronouncements, closing the distance between audience and performer, and costing politicians a great deal of control over their message and image. While old style "great leaders" could hide personal illnesses and problems from the public, by the time of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson such problems became public. Richard Nixon was a victim of publicized contradictions between public and private behaviors, while Jimmy Carter is the first president who has tailored his actions to the high visibility of the office by avoiding the traditional dramatic rhetorical style of the presidency, by playing down his own importance, and by attempting to say nothing which would be contradicted by anything the media could reveal. The twin demands for great powerful leaders and for fully open administrations may well be imcompatible--the familiarity fostered by electronic media all too easily breeds contempt. (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Carter (Jimmy)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (71st, Ocean City, MD, April 24-26, 1980).