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Assessing the George W. Bush PresidencyA Tale of Two Terms$
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Andrew Wroe and Jon Herbert

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627400

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627400.001.0001

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Communications Strategies in the Bush White House

Communications Strategies in the Bush White House

Chapter:
(p.216) Chapter 14 Communications Strategies in the Bush White House
Source:
Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency
Author(s):

John Anthony Maltese

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627400.003.0014

Like most recent presidents of the United States, George W. Bush embraced an approach to governing that is sometimes referred to as ‘the permanent campaign’. Scott McClellan, who served as Bush's White House press secretary, argues that the Bush administration's ‘excessive embrace of the permanent campaign’ was most consequential in terms of policy with regard to the war in Iraq. The permanent campaign was on display from the earliest days of the Bush administration. First, following the example of Ronald Reagan, it settled on a clear, simple agenda that focused primarily on four issues: education reform, faith-based initiatives, tax cuts, and military preparedness (including the need for a missile defence system). The Bush administration's emphasis on the permanent campaign led it to reorganise its communications staff. The White House Office of Media Affairs was moved out of the Press Office and made a separate department. Arguably these adjustments reflected the administration's desire to plan and execute a public relations campaign while, at the same time, playing down the importance of the White House press corps.

Keywords:   George W. Bush, United States, communications, permanent campaign, public relations, press corps, Press Office, Office of Media Affairs, Iraq, military preparedness

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