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Changing Their Minds?Donald Trump and Presidential Leadership$
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George C. Edwards III

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226775500

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226775647.001.0001

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Going Public

Going Public

(p.42) Chapter Three Going Public
Changing Their Minds?

George C. Edwards III

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the Trump White House’s efforts to lead public opinion, often referred to as going public, and concentrates on the classic challenges that every administration faces in reaching the public with its messages (including national addresses), focusing the public’s attention, and framing issues to its advantage. It devotes special attention to the president’s unique approach to public relations, including his narrow emphasis on his base. Donald Trump was skilled at attracting attention. His actions, statements, and tweets dominated the news. Nevertheless, he faced the same challenges that bedevil all presidents in obtaining and focusing the public’s attention and framing the terms of debate. Moreover, sometimes his inflammatory rhetoric and lack of message discipline created distractions from his priorities and alienated voters.

Keywords:   president, leadership, Donald Trump, public opinion, public relations, going public, national addresses, tweets, framing, news

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