Policy Signals and Executive Governance: Presidential Rhetoric in the War on Drugs
Posted: 1 Aug 2005 Last revised: 20 Jan 2015
Date Written: 2003
One consequence of the president's use of rhetoric to shape the public agenda, the media, and congressional attention is less recognized: presidential rhetoric shapes the priorities of the administrative agents over whom he seeks managerial control. We present statistical tests of the managerial power of presidential policy signals in the case of the United States Attorneys' implementation of the federal War on Drugs. We find that presidential policy signals shifted the composition of the Attorneys' caseload, although not to the exclusion of other pertinent local, national, and internal factors. Yet, the consequences of presidential rhetoric for executive governance remain real and substantial.
Keywords: law, legal, economic, political science, bureaucracy, prosecutors, attorneys, war on drugs, policy, rhetoric, president, executive, agenda setting
JEL Classification: K14, K41, D73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation