Season 6, Episode 1: Presidents and the Bully Pulpit

March 11, 2021

About This Episode

John F. Kennedy ran for president as television was beginning to come into its own. The importance and power of presidents' use of the bully pulpit was growing as millions of viewers could watch a single presidential address live on television.

In this episode, we will hear from Adam Frankel, former speechwriter to President Barack Obama, about the relationship between President Kennedy and his most trusted speechwriter and aide Ted Sorensen. We will also speak with Vanessa Beasley, an expert on presidential rhetoric from Vanderbilt University, about the history of presidential speechmaking from President Kennedy to today.

View the transcript for this episode.

What We Talked About