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The Prime Ministers' CraftWhy Some Succeed and Others Fail in Westminster Systems$
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Patrick Weller

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199646203.001.0001

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Prime Ministers and the Public

Prime Ministers and the Public

Media, Communications, and the Electorate

(p.198) 8 Prime Ministers and the Public
The Prime Ministers' Craft

Patrick Weller

Oxford University Press

Prime ministers are the key campaigners for their governments, not just in electoral campaigns, but every day and in every place. Media management has become a continuing and significant part of the prime ministers’ activities; it is a daily, indeed an hourly, pressure. Speeches have to be planned. The pressure has changed the tone and priorities of governing. It has dangers as well as benefits. Media demands have become more immediate, more continuous, and more intrusive. Prime ministers must respond. The same technical changes allow prime ministers to interact with their voters in a way that bypasses journalists and other intermediaries. They are writ large in campaigns. They are never out of mind or out of sight. Re-election is always a consideration for tactics and strategy. The public leader, the ‘rhetorical prime minister’, is shaped by the demands of the media and organized by the technological capacity.

Keywords:   Prime ministers, campaigning, media management, preparing speeches, rhetoric

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