The Constitution on the Campaign Trail: The Surprising Political Career of America's Founding Document

The Constitution on the Campaign Trail: The Surprising Political Career of America's Founding Document

by Andrew E. Busch
ISBN-10:
0742548481
ISBN-13:
9780742548480
Pub. Date:
09/16/2007
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Select a Purchase Option
  • purchase options
    $84.88 $97.00 Save 12% Current price is $84.88, Original price is $97. You Save 12%.
  • purchase options

Overview

The Constitution on the Campaign Trail: The Surprising Political Career of America's Founding Document

The Constitution is the fundamental governing document of the United States. But to what extent do candidates and parties make constitutional arguments in the course of American elections? By examining party platforms, candidate messages, presidential debates, and television ads, Busch answers four main questions: How often does constitutional rhetoric appear in campaigns? How much of it is explicit and how much implicit? What constitutional topics receive the most attention? And how often do the electoral competitors engage in an actual constitutional dialogue?

The Constitution on the Campaign Trail finds evidence for a long, broad decline in the use of constitutional rhetoric since the mid-nineteenth century. Making matters worse, the modern medium most responsible for conveying campaign messages on a day-to-day basis-television advertising-has proven least conducive to constitutional argument. However, and perhaps surprisingly, American campaigns have actually seen a limited resurgence in constitutional rhetoric over the past four decades, driven in large part by increased concern with judicial issues, rights, and federalism. The political analysis found in The Constitution on the Campaign Trail is firmly grounded in historical research and the conclusions reached are trenchant.

About the Author:
Andrew E. Busch is professor of government at Claremont McKenna College

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780742548480
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 09/16/2007
Pages: 331
Product dimensions: 6.32(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
The Constitution and Electoral Politics     15
The Constitution in the Party Platforms     35
The Constitution in Candidate Messages     71
The Constitution in Television Advertising     107
The Constitution in Presidential Debates     129
The Constitution and Third Parties     153
Constitutional Rhetoric and Governing     177
Conclusion: Constitutional Rhetoric and Its Prospects     197
A Note on the Study Method     239
Coded Communications     247
Data Tables     257
Notes     267
Bibliography     301
Index     309
About the Author     319

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews