With the election behind them, President Obama and Congress have now turned their attention to the so-called fiscal cliff the country is facing with automatic and across-the-board spending cuts and the expiration of tax cuts set to kick in January 1 if lawmakers can’t come to agreement on how to reduce the federal deficit.
President Obama says his reelection gives him a mandate from the American public not to extend tax cuts for annual incomes of more than $250,000 as part of the plan to address the debt, saying that the majority of Americans agree with his approach.
The White House has made a direct appeal to the public, emailing a video asking Americans to ask their friends and neighbors to participate in this debate, and the Associated Press reports that the president is planning to bring the public into the debate in the coming weeks to pressure Congress to come to an agreement.
In this authentic assessment performance task, you will assume the role of a media consultant for the White House on this issue. You can work independently on this assignment if you choose, or with a partner or in a group of up to four people.
Given the lessons learned from this election campaign and the lessons learned in class what recommendations will you make to design messages appealing to the public to help the president reach agreement with Democratic and Republican lawmakers on this issue?
What media (including social media) will you suggest the White House use to reach which groups of citizens?
What will be the focus of the message(s)?
What will be the tone of the message(s)?
What kind of appeal(s) will you use (e.g. rational, emotional, patriotic, etc.)?
What recommendations do you have for the structural features of the message(s)?
How will these recommendations ultimately help the president, the public, and Congress achieve intersubjectivity on this issue?
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