Economic frames : transitional rhetoric under Clinton, Bush, and Obama.
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Kurr, Jeffrey A.
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During boom and bust periods, the dynamic status of the economy has become a perennial issue in the political arena. In this thesis, I engage in a rhetorical criticism analyzing how three presidents, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, rhetorically framed economic conditions to justify legislative solutions. I examine how each president prescribed policy solutions during his first months in office. In particular, I argue: Clinton constituted national identity around economic concerns to push his 1993 budget plan; Bush reinterpreted the nation-as-family metaphor to justify his 2001 tax cuts; and Obama injected crisis rhetoric into the American Dream to champion his 2009 stimulus. This analysis provides a foundation for understanding the econo-rhetorical leadership role of the president and the implications it has on framing congressional and public deliberation.