Rock Island, Ill. - Students and faculty at Augustana College will join their peers from the College of Charleston this week in considering the style, substance and importance of communication by United States' presidents. Presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R) will kick off the College of Charleston's "Bully Pulpit Series: Reflections on Presidential Communication" on Wednesday, October 3. On Friday, October 5, a select group of Augustana students will join faculty from Augustana's department of speech communication in analyzing Senator McCain's comments on presidential communication, providing feedback that will be reported as part of the follow-up to Senator McCain's appearance.
The Bully Pulpit forum is a non-partisan series wherein an equal number of presidential candidates from the two major political parties have been invited to the College of Charleston campus in Charleston, South Carolina prior to the South Carolina presidential primaries, the first primaries to be held in the South.
Senator McCain is the first presidential candidate to speak in this series, which invites the individual presidential candidates to speak with students and Charleston community members on such topics as the frequency of press conferences, the candidate's relationship with journalists, and the power of the president to persuade.
This series is devoted to a subject often neglected during the presidential campaign: How a successful candidate, if elected, will use the 'bully pulpit' powers of the presidency to inform, persuade and mobilize the American people," said Dr. Brian McGee, Chairman of the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston, who will travel to Rock Island to attend Friday's discussion at Augustana. The Bully Pulpit Series at the College of Charleston is a joint effort of the college's Department of Communication and the Department of Communication Advisory Council. Allstate Insurance Company is the title sponsor for the Bully Pulpit series.
To see how Midwestern college students would respond to the candidates' comments on presidential communication, the College of Charleston has invited Augustana College to collaborate in the Bully Pulpit Series. Augustana students who were chosen to participate in the event have submitted questions to be asked of Senator McCain during Wednesday's question and answer session. the College of Charleston will provide a complete video recording of this event to the department of speech communication at Augustana College.
On Friday, October 5, Dr. Stephen Klien, Associate Professor of Speech Communication, will facilitate a discussion with Augustana students that will analyze, reflect on, and evaluate Senator McCain's address and engagement of questions at the Charleston event. The Augustana student group will focus its discussion on expectations for how candidates and presidents should communicate in public, and to what extent Senator McCain meets, exceeds, or falls short of those expectations. The discussion will also emphasize the centrality and importance of ethical, effective communication in the political realm.