A bully pulpit is a public office 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 fore that were not initially in debate, due to the office's stature and publicity.
This term was coined by President Theodore Roosevelt, who referred to the American presidency as a "bully pulpit," by which he meant a terrific platform from which persuasively to advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word bully as an adjective meaning "superb" or "wonderful" (a more common expression in his time than it is today). A pulpit is the elevated platform used by a preacher. The term has no relationship to the word bully in the sense of a "harasser".
The advocating of adding an amendment to the U.S. Constitution regarding Homosexual Marriage, was a classic use of the bullypulpit by the Bush 43 administration. Gay marriage was made a top priority on the U.S. political agenda by the executive branches jawboning. This otherwise insignificant issue was brought to the forefront of American politics in order to divert the populace’s attention from the flawed effort in Iraq during campaigning, because of the President’s high influence and inherited persuasive powers.
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