Bully Pulpit (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Bully Pulpit

A bully pulpit is a public office or other position of authority of sufficiently high rank that provides the holder with an opportunity to speak out and be listened to on any matter. The bully pulpit can bring issues to the forefront that were not initially in debate, due to the office’s stature and publicity.


Coined by President Theodore Roosevelt:
“I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit!”
Quoted in Lyman Abbott, “A Review of President Roosevelt’s Administration,” The Outlook, February 27, 1909 – Google Books

#14: “All Hands on Deck” Challenge: a “21st Century” application of the bully-pulpit to call for public or private sector action in furtherance of a policy priority; the goal is to leverage senior leader “announcements” to spur voluntary commitments.

Memorandum for The National Science & Technology Council Committee on Technology,” from Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer and Associate Director for Technology, Office of Science & Technology Policy, February 8, 2012 (6-page PDFPDF)

Also see President of the United States.



Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide

Congressional Deskbook: The Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Congress

Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: Citizen Advocacy in State Legislatures and Congress: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates

The Federal Budget Process: A description of the federal and congressional budget processes, including timelines

CongressionalGlossary.com, from TheCapitol.Net

For more than 35 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been teaching professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs about the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.

Our on-site training, publications, and audio courses include congressional operations, legislative and budget process, communication and advocacy, media and public relations, testifying before Congress, research skills, legislative drafting, critical thinking and writing, and more.

TheCapitol.Net is on the GSA Schedule, 874-4, for custom on-site training. GSA Contract GS02F0192X

TheCapitol.Net is a non-partisan small business.

Teaching how Washington and Congress work ™

Select publications from TheCapitol.Net

Comments are closed.