Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. J. Kevin Corder

Second Advisor

Dr. John A. Clark

Third Advisor

Dr. Mark S. Hurwitz

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


This manuscript is an analysis of publicly available speeches and reports from the website of the Department of Defense. The analysis helps to better understand the relationship between the president and the Secretary of Defense from 1995-2010. My three-stage coding scheme enables me to determine if the speech bears a presidential focus, if it contains supportive or independence attempted mentions, and lastly if the speech on the whole can be seen as showing harmony or discord with the president.

This study revisits material focused on presidential control of the executive branch and case studies of cabinet members. Overall, cabinet members have not received much analytical treatment in political science. This study, in part, demonstrates why that may be the case because everything considered, public speeches and reports delivered by Defense Secretaries in the 1995-2010 time-frame were found to be overwhelmingly supportive of the president.

Off-campus Download