By R. Busby
Photographs of political leaders as daily figures, fascinated by typical actions, now shape an more and more very important element of electoral presentation. this article examines how and why chosen political figures have embraced a populist schedule in a social context and addresses the scope and obstacles of such an method within the US and the united kingdom.
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Extra info for Marketing the populist politician: the demotic democrat
31 This poses a clear challenge to those who aspire to power, with this inherent contradiction at the heart of the marketing challenge. Several politicians of the modern era have advanced populist messages and presented themselves as representative of grassroots society despite their significant personal wealth. Reagan argued in favour of powerless elements of society against the institutions of government for example, as outlined in Chapter 4. However, in the main, populist declarations have been varied in their impact and their scope in the contemporary era.
Because of the desire to shape voting behaviour the presentation is played out on a public stage, giving maximum contact between the voters’ minds and the presentation of a preferred candidate image. Kernell suggests, with specific reference to the American presidency, that leaders now go public and utilise popular opinion as a core tool in the advancement of not only their chances of election or re-election, but also to influence others in government. 17 Attention to visual image and branding has become a necessity for political leaders, replete with rhetorical devices to create a manufactured identity which encapsulates the political product.
Nixon could approach post-war American politics from a position of political strength. He was widely regarded as an earthy individual who had endured a breadth of experiences and was not derived from an elite political stock. This was important as it allowed him to play a populist card and argue that he stood firmly against an eastern liberal elite, against whom he would struggle for much of his political life. Nixon’s early life was removed from elite society and this gave him a pronounced political asset when running for office.
Marketing the populist politician: the demotic democrat by R. Busby