Lessons of Presidential Persuasion: Be the Commander-In-Chief

I finally got around to reading Ezra Klein’s interesting take on what I consider to be a fascinating subject: the power of presidents to persuade the public. Klein’s piece, in the March 19 New Yorker, takes a dim view of the practical uses of presidential rhetoric, using mostly presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama as case studies. Reagan, Klein notes, was considered to be a great communicator (or, as he is remembered, the Great Communicator), yet his approval ratings were average and many of his primary policy prescriptions never caught on with the public.

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Lessons of Presidential Persuasion: Be the Commander-In-Chief

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In Memoriam: Michael Novak, 1933-2017

Celebrating the memory and work of an intellectual giant.

On Friday, the scholar and author Michael Novak passed away at the age of 83. COMMENTARY had the privilege of publishing his work on a number of occasions. His insights over the decades represent a vital contribution to America’s intellectual heritage. Novak’s 1989 essay on the competing ideologies of the 20th Century represents a work of considered thought that spans the generations. We commend it to your attention:

Related to enterprise is the more general virtue of creativity. For personal economic enterprise is not socially sustainable unless would-be entrepreneurs are supported by a social intelligence covering many areas—law, banking and finance, governmental administration, the arts, journalism, education, scientific and industrial research, and even religion and philosophy.

Novak, an American Enterprise Institute scholar, is remembered by AEI President Arthur Brooks. We extend our condolences to the Novak family and mourn their, and our, great loss.

The American Enterprise Institute mourns the loss of our colleague, Michael Novak, who passed away this morning at the age of 83. Michael was an AEI scholar for three decades until his retirement in 2010, and remained a close friend of the Institute.