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The president as symbol


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The president as symbol

  1. 1. The President as Symbol American perceptions of the president: What is real and what is not?
  2. 2. Warm up <ul><li>What is a symbol? </li></ul><ul><li>Which of the seven roles of the president are ones that involve him acting as a symbol? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Objective <ul><li>Students will analyze media portrayals of different presidencies in order to understand the perceptions of the president as a symbol for our country. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Discuss… <ul><li>What kind of person do we expect our president to be? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Physical appearance <ul><li>In times before television, the personal appearance of the president was not important. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Look at the images below of the Presidential election debates of 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon
  7. 7. Just by appearances, who won the debate? Why? <ul><li>What kind of image did John F. Kennedy project? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of image did Richard Nixon project? </li></ul>
  8. 8. We like presidents who represent family values such as loyalty and fidelity. <ul><li>Look at the picture below. What kind of symbolic image does Barack Obama project? </li></ul>
  9. 9. In 1988, Gary Hart was a front runner for the Democratic Party nomination for president. <ul><li>Gary Hart was accused of having an extra marital affair that he denied. He invited newsmen to follow him to prove his claims. Here are the pictures they took. </li></ul><ul><li>The woman on his lap is not his wife. </li></ul><ul><li>Why did Gary Hart have to stop his race for president? </li></ul>
  10. 10. In 2008, another presidential candidate, John Edwards, was caught by the Enquirer in a similar situation.
  11. 11. People were disturbed in 1978 when Jimmy Carter gave an interview to Playboy magazine. <ul><li>In the interview, Carter was quoted as, “ I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times.“ </li></ul><ul><li>Why would American society not like what Carter said…and who he said it to? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Many presidents have been rumored to have had affairs while in office. <ul><li>Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and John F. Kennedy had probable affairs while in office. </li></ul><ul><li>None of those affairs ended up in the newspapers. </li></ul><ul><li>Why has it become more likely in our current society that presidential affairs will end up in the newspapers and become big scandals? </li></ul>
  13. 13. In 1988, Bill Clinton made history when he became the second president to face an impeachment trial. <ul><li>The charges were that he lied in a court of law about his relationship with an intern called Monica Lewinsky . </li></ul>
  14. 14. Bill Clinton is often referred to as a master manipulator of the media. <ul><li>In the next picture of Bill Clinton faces the media during his impeachment trial. What earns him the praise “the great communicator”? </li></ul>
  15. 16. Clinton remained a darling of the media during his presidency. Despite his problems, he called himself “the comeback kid”. What image does he project in this pictures?
  16. 17. Compare the two pictures below of Bill Clinton meeting two different people. Which picture do we most associate with former president Clinton? Which picture would Clinton prefer to have associated with him? Why?
  17. 18. Not all political scandals involve affairs. <ul><li>Marion Barry lost his position as mayor of Washington D.C when he was caught doing drugs. </li></ul>
  18. 19. The image of our representatives as strong people is important to the American people. <ul><li>Images of Edmund Muskie crying followed him through his run for president in 1972. </li></ul><ul><li>He lost. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Many pundits have poked fun at John Boehner, our current Speaker of the House, for crying.
  20. 21. Which of the following images shows a stronger representation of a politician? Why?
  21. 22. Sometimes circumstances help a president to project an image. What image does President Bush project here?
  22. 23. We don’t like our presidents to make mistakes. What is wrong with this image taken in 2005?
  23. 24. We want our presidents to appear to be solving major problems. The following are comments from George Bush’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. <ul><li>In particular, Bush criticized what he said was a “lack of crisp response” to Hurricane Katrina at “all levels of government,” saying that his initial decision to fly over New Orleans aboard Air Force One was a “huge mistake.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I should have touched down in Baton Rouge, met with the governor and walked out and said, ‘I hear you. We understand, and we’re going to help the state and help the local governments with as much resources as needed,’” Bush said in an interview that aired on NBC Monday night. </li></ul><ul><li>What does this picture say to the American people? </li></ul>
  24. 25. Presidents must be careful not to project the wrong image. <ul><li>In this image, Obama comes back to Washington after planting a tree on Earth Day. </li></ul><ul><li>What is wrong with this image? </li></ul>
  25. 26. What image does Clinton portray in this clip?
  26. 27. Many times a president can get into trouble with words. Here is Bush 41…and, yes, he raised them twice.
  27. 28. And Obama, normally a man who remains calm under pressure…
  28. 29. When we attach perceptions to our politicians at their best…
  29. 30. We should be careful not to attach false perceptions to presidents at their worst…(imagine if we had a camera on us 24 hours a day!)
  30. 31. Even the best manipulators of the media have bad days…
  31. 32. Close: Choose one of the following quotes about the presidency and respond to it, using three examples from this power point. <ul><li>“ In a rational society we want presidents to be teachers. In our actual society we insist that they be cheerleaders.” (Steve Allen) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The president is a huge echo chamber magnifying every little thing that he does” (Steven Hess) </li></ul><ul><li>The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small bigger than he was, and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands.” (Lyndon Baines Johnson) </li></ul>