Presidential Rhetoric's Visual Turn: Performance Fragments and the Politics of Illusionism
This essay explores the aesthetic and rhetorical implications of prudent and imprudent presidential performance fragments embodied in photo-opportunities, thereby addressing Presidential rhetoric's "visual turn." Assembled as a critical rhetoric text, this essay posits that presidential performance fragments privilege the dominant ideology and its power relationships. In addition, this project argues that prudent Presidential performances signal a chief executive's consubstantiality with the mythic presidency, centralized authority, and active, political leadership. Imprudent photo-opportunity performances, by contrast, impact negatively a president's image, agenda, credibility, and authority. The essay concludes with a discussion of how political images symbolically affect the citizenry and democratic processes, and advances foundational issues for the critic.
Erickson, K. V.
(2000). Presidential Rhetoric's Visual Turn: Performance Fragments and the Politics of Illusionism. Communication Monographs, 67(2), 138-157.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/4186