Bully Pulpit (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Bully Pulpit


The president’s 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)


Is The Bully Pulpit Useless?







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