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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 12, 2021

Presidential Home Style: Trump in the Era of COVID-19

Marion R. Just, Joseph Saraceno and Ann N. Crigler
From the journal The Forum

Abstract

In Homestyle: House Members in their Districts (1978) Richard Fenno argued that members of Congress utilize different “home styles” when communicating with various segments of their constituency. These tailored, face-to-face interactions help build trust, are essential to the reelection effort, and shape member behavior once in office. In this paper, we reconfigure and extend Fenno’s theory to help explain presidential (in)action in the digital age. By analyzing President Trump’s daily press briefings and social media presence during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we argue that just as a representative’s home style carries over into governance, the same can be said for a president in what we have called “presidential home styles.” We find that the characteristics that made Trump a successful campaigner in the 2016 election are not conducive to effective governance, especially during a crisis.


Corresponding author: Ann N. Crigler, Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA, E-mail:

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Published Online: 2021-02-12

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