I Mustache You a Question –
By Mona S.
Since November (Movember) is national beard month, I have decided to honor this month by naming my favorite facial haired American historical personage. Drumroll… President Teddy Roosevelt.
Teddy Roosevelt facial hairstyle is called the Walrus mustache. To describe this mustache in simple terms, it’s basically a thick bushy whisker that drops over the mouth. Walrus is added to the name because the style resembles the whiskers of a walrus.
Teddy can be best described as a moralist with an aggressive New York attitude that helped make him become the first youngest President of the U.S. by the age of 42. His trademark mustache would be one of the methods used to his advantage in getting the publicity TR wanted
In becoming the first president to utilize the power of the media, T.R. would establish a personal relationship with reporters that would help shape his agenda. Coining it the “bully pulpit,” TR explained “the power that a president can wield to mobilize and galvanize the public.”
TR would regularly hold meetings with reports during his midday shave known as “Barber’s hour.” As his barber shaved and taming his walrus mustache, reporters would watch, listen, and ask TR questions. The tag-team duo of reporters investigating and writing articles in exposing the political and economic corruption would help Teddy produce legislation and reforms of the investigated corruptions.
Today, the power of the bully pulpit has diminished all in thanks to President Obama. For the past seven years, the president has failed to educate the American public of his proposed legislation. What doesn’t help is the President doesn’t have many interactions with reporters like TR did. Instead reporters are dealt with his Press Secretary who delivers largely scripted responses that doesn’t help reporters fill in the blank. Another problem is the president speaks to a small group of opinion columnists in an off-the-record setting. His preference of having a “bull session” with his favored opinion journalists than having a bully pulpit with the public and reporters is easily seen as ways the President influence views with inside-the-Beltway opinion journalists.
But don’t worry if you don’t know what was said off-the-record, President Obama has another means to dominate the headlines … a pen and a phone. Obama new strategy of threatening to use pen and a phone to push lawlessness has transformed the meaning of bully pulpit. The adjective “bully pulpit” once defined by Teddy as “wonderful platform to advocate an agenda” has now been defined as a noun of “power to harm those who are weaker.”