Di negara-negara demokratis, proses komunikasi terjadi secara vertikal dan horisontal, artinya komunikasi disampaikan oleh elit politik, lalu mendapatkan umpan balik dari masyarakat. Di Indonesia, secara umum, elit politik sangat mendominasi pembicaraan politik, melebihi umpan balik yang dihasilkan masyarakat sebagai tanggapan atas pembicaraan tersebut. Mereka menggunakan media massa sebagai sarana pembentukan citra positif mereka. Peran Presiden SBY sebagai seorang komunikator politik juga sangat dominan. Pesan-pesan politik yang disampaikan, dalam tahapan tertentu, dibuat dan direkayasa sedemikian rupa untuk membentuk opini publik. Kontrusksi opini publik sangat berguna dalam upaya-upaya mempertahankan pemerintahan, maupun kontestasi politik dalam pemilu.
Kata kunci: Politik, Komunikasi, dan Opini Publik
In general, communication is the process of social interaction that people use to construct meaning about the world and to exchange that image with symbols. While, politics is a variety of activities within a political system that involves the process of determining the purpose of the system and implement the goals. According to Michael Scudson, political communication is: “any transmission of messages that has, or is intended to have an effect on the distribution or use of power in society or an attitude toward the use of power.” 
Political scientists assume that the object of political communication is included in political science studies because of the messages conveyed in the communication process are associated with political power, state, government, also communicator and communicants, who engage as agents of political activity. 
Our political communication system consists of political elite, mass media, and society that run vertically. Each is a sub system that serves as the source (communicator), channel, audience, recipient (communicants), and a process known as feedback. In democratic countries communication process occurs vertically and horizontally. Political talks proceeded reciprocally and the role of each element of the political communication system will change according to changing situations. For example, political elites in some situation can play a part as message communicator, but in other hands can turned into a channel or media, and also in certain circumstances can also be changed as a spectator of the recipient. Likewise with other elements, such as media and society that continue to switch roles according to the conditions. 
In 1948, political scientist Harold Lasswell said that a simple way to describe an act of communication is by answering the following questions:
with what result?
Simple questions to identify the common elements contained in all communications, namely the source and recipient, message, media communication, and feedback. Five basic of this Lasswell laws presents a useful way to analyze the Presidential political communication.
Political Talks: Presidencial Political Message
For political communicator, in conversation regarding political communication, must contain the political talks. The President must have the message or something that will be presented to the audience about the policy or other matters relating to the role of the state in general and especially his role as president. Here we will try to analyze the political message of the president.
In politics we will mention a lot of talk, so much as if the talk was politics it self. According to political scientist David VJ Bell, there are three types of political talks, power talks, influence talks, and authority talks. For example, how important it is to speak for politicians, especially for goverment official.
Most of us know the president for speaking at press conferences, speeches, written statements, etc, or through what other people say about him. Television reporters, newspapers and magazines reviewed each issue to find the nature, satire, or clues about what will happen. A quiet president was discussed almost equal to what he/she said if he/she had spoken, for example, former President Megawati Sukarnoputri who rarely speaks in public, so she has the impression of a quiet President.
In Indonesia, in general, we can say that political elite dominate political talks. They use the mass media, that since the reformation era are very free in building an image (positive one surely) on the elite itself, or their political affiliations, including the government. For example, in the government there are numbers of Department who place ads in both print and electronic media, about their success or achievements.
One side is good to communicate to the public about what has been accomplished with the objectives of government agencies to improve performance in the future, but do not let the media used to build the image of the institution in such way. Even worse, if there are competition among government institutions in terms of putting add in mass media, become a political tool to prevent the ministers to be replaced by the President and the Department budget was reduce also by the president.
Thus, the role of political communicator (in this case the President) is very dominant, especially about his political propaganda. Political messages are created or engineered in such ways to shape public opinion. Some form of engineered public opinion that can serve as an example are the problem of elections, democracy, political recruitment, political rhetoric, political propaganda, etc.
Presidential Political Media
Why did the President talk to the press? One reason is to promote political demands before they work together and compete in their own interest. The President used the press to spread the message of the government and outside government to influence policy and generate results or assuage public concerns. So instead, the president always tried to use the press in promoting his political interest.
Many of the press when acting as a news channel also serves as a news maker. Media coverage is no longer based on reality but a construction of reality. What does it mean? Media reporting today is no longer based on a singular fact, but based on the interests or the interests of certain people who wants to direct the subject to any direction he/she wants to take it. As I mentioned earlier, the media has played a second hand reality role that is usually very tendentious. Media has also becomes a teacher and guide us to determine the situation according to their will.
Some journalists openly defend the ideas, policies, and certain programs because they were paid to adopt an attitude like that. They made no attempt to report or write on all sides of the story (write a balanced or neutral) because they typically believe that the balance was not possible. They should tell one side only, because others will tell the other side, and they also know that all truth and the rest are irrelevant.
We have already discussed that the president and his administration officials using the press to pursuit the goals or his own political interests. In addition, the president reading, listening, and watching local and national news from the general mass media to obtain information about events that are not flowing through official government channels, like the Presidential Official website www.presidensby.info. The statements comes from former Presidential Spokesman Andi Malarangeng, which the web itself was accessed by thousands of surfers every day.
One of the interests of the President in viewing general mass media is to observe public opinion that comes form published polls and editorials. Useful also get a macro picture of public reaction on the policies made by him. The President has a parameter of how well people respond to policies that are reported through public media. It can be use as consideration for the President to make better policy for the people, in response to the problems that occurred in this country.
But the way I see it, the President is still unable to solve this problem. We still remember the case of fuel price increases which occurred twice in Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration on March and October 2005. When that happens the massive wave of protests by everyone, which occurred almost in all Indonesia. The government stated that based on economic calculation, the increase in fuel prices is inevitable at this time. There is no denying that the fuel subsidy burden paid by the state is no longer possible, especially with world oil prices continue to rise.
Fortunately, the President with his economic team has done steps, before the increase, to explain this policy in detail on television. They hope that people can understand and give their support. Steps of other political communication, such as socialization, dialogue, and an presidential official appeal by related government agencies (Pertamina, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Economy, etc.) were also conducted. Although it seems that people still could not understand, and still doing demonstrations, but at least reviewed from the standpoint of political communication, this course of action was rightly done by the president.
About the President access to the press itself, I will make comparisons by looking at what happened in the United States. President of the United States have access to free, easy, and direct press in his country. This allows the President of the United States to appear simultaneously on radio and television in prime time, in which the general public usuall listen and watch media. Presidential appearances in the media make him possible to speak directly with the audience and making printed media to make news about the President appeared on the front page of their media in the morning. In America, the president's speech on radio or television is also used to inform the people about government standing point and their policies towards certain issues.
Public opinion described as a process that combines thoughts, feelings and suggestions expressed by citizens in private on policy choices by government officials who are responsible for the achievement of social order in a situation that contains a conflict, discord, and disagreement about what to do and how to do.
The primary basis in our understanding about political communication is that people act toward objects based on the meaning of the object for themselves. But the meaning of an object, whether human objects, places, events, ideas or words, are not fixed and static. In short, people behave toward the object by giving meaning to it, which means that in turn comes from the behavior as an individual. Through the activities of giving and receiving communications between meaning and actions, people are usually acquired to a certain tendency.
Personal opinion consists of verbal and nonverbal activity that presents images and interpretations of individuals of a particular object in the settings, usually in the form of issues. In order to make public opinion, personal opinion should be shared widely through the collective activity with a lot of people.
The core of the formation of opinions is a four-stage process involving interrelatedness aspects of personal, social, and politics through the emergence of: the dispute has the potential to be a problem, political leadership, personal interpretation and social considerations, and willingness to publicly express personal opinions.
We have studied the main characteristics of personal opinions, opinions have a content (an opinion about something), direction (believe or not believe, etc.), and intensity (strong, moderate, or weak). Public opinion also has certain features in particular. First, there are also contents, direction and intensity of public opinion. Second, the controversy that marked the public opinion, that is something that not everyone agreed. Third, public opinion has a volume based on the fact that the controversy was touched all those who feel directly and indirectly. Fourth, public opinion remained relatively.
There are some social implications inherent in public opinion that will be presented here. One of them pointed to the role played by the mass media in the process of opinion. One way, is that the media helped create the public opinion not just by telling people what to think, this is a form of agenda setting function. But there is also another meaning, is that the media is saying what to think. So far people are still dependent on media, for them the media presents image of social consensus.
Provides an opportunity for the emergence of the problematic relationship between public opinion and politics is the nature of political communication between government officials and ordinary citizens. By embracing the illusion that the policy was in accordance with the will or the common myth, certain officials and mobilize support for broad diffusion. Compared to what can be done by government officials to sell the policies, the feedback from the community to policy makers that only small droplets, which almost did not present a complete picture about the diversity of views was expressed. Tools to measure public opinion is relatively coarse when compared with the sophistication of modern techniques for the management of opinion.
In the case of Iran's interpellation, we see that the media helped create the public opinion that the president must be present at the interpellation session in the parliament. Presidential former spokesman Andi Mallarangeng said that the president does not need to attend the parliament calls in the case of Iran. legal basis is Article 174 section d House Rules, which states that the president may assign the relevant ministers representing him to answer the question directly. In the era of President Megawati's leadership as well, Megawati has also sent the Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to attend the interpellation session at the House of Representatives.
President as a political communicator must be capable of communicating a political message to the people of Indonesia that are very diverse in such a manner, so that public opinion is formed to discredit not even the president as the examples I mentioned in previous discussions. For that, President's former spokesman Andi Mallarangeng said that political communication done by the President, his spokesman, and ministers should be able to reach all segments of society.
Efforts must be taken by the president political communication team in order to gives value to their news. These efforts, among others, is through adjustable language used, an interesting news marketing, accessible channels, and the most important thing is to keep face to face communication with the people. And if there is misperceptions of the news given, the president is entitled to hold a press conference and use the full right of reply or rebuttal of any that are considered defiled himself or his government as long as it is still in the process of pure and consequent democracy.
In essence, communication with the people are to be maintained by political decision makers. Democratic systems require a large influence from the public towards the political authorities in the process of drafting legislation or decision. Gabriel Almond indicated in his writing that non-democratic system is still possible to consider the voice of the people. But, of course in a different way or the structure of the democratic political system.
Because communication is two way process, the president should listen to the voice of his people. The process of delivering people aspirations, whether in the form of demands and supports, for the political system (government) should be considered in the policy making process in the future. In this reformation era, where there is power in every society and also free press, civil society has the ability to construct public opinion, because they have the capability to do so. I think they must be heard and given an explanation. They must be conditioned so that every government policy can be understood and supported. If the public gives their support, all efforts of politicization from political opponents (or from several media that often are not neutral) would be easily anticipated. The public itself will not be easily provoke by the opposition if they understand the problems.
One element in the framework of a communication process is feedback (feedback). This element plays a very big role in the process of communication because it provides communicant information about how to interpret a received message. In communication, the expected feedback is positive. This means that convey messages from the communicator received a positive response from the communicant, so that it will maintain a good relation in communicating.
In political communication, the President receive not only positive feedback but also negative. That is the risk that the President will have. David Easton is also mentioned in the analysis of political systems in the process of providing input (input) to the government by the people as a political infrastructure for the conversion institute, as the political superstructure also expect feedback in the form of a pro-people policy.
According to David Berlo, there are so called external feedback, is a feedback that comes from the coomunicant to the communicator. We can call it immediate feedback. Beside direct, there is also indirect feedback. Indirect feedback is a delayed feedback, usually involving the mass media, such as letters to the editor in the newspaper colomn. Response from the public that against government policies are also classified as indirect because the feedback process is indirect. In political science the people usually participate in political agenda to give response to the government, we can call it the process of political participation.
The types of feedback according to Ralph Webb jr. are divided into several types. First zero feedback, is a feedback received by communicator from communicant, with the communicator does not understood the meaning. Second is the positive feedback, the communicator can understand and reach an agreement with the commnicant, communicants are willing to participate to meet the demand as contained in the messages it receives. The third is a neutral feedback, which means that the message returned to the communicator are not relevant to the problem presented by the communicator to the communicants. And the last is negative feedback, is a messages that are returned by the communicants does not support or oppose the communicator, so it will causing anger or criticism.
According to John Corner and Dick Pels, we are now entering the era of 3C political communication. First is consumerism, second is celebrity, and third is cynicism. Candidates who want to win elections or local elections should be the type of consumerism. Selling candidates is almost the same as selling shampoo. There should be ads everywhere. This is called political imaging.
Then celebrity. Those who want to advance, even when he/she already administered, still have to maintain its image. And third, cynicism. Media and public will always be cynical about political figures and political parties. Cynicism can go hand in hand with parody. Parody is like a cradle. If the government failing, parody rises. If the government succeed, parody drowned. Unfortunately, people involved in parody occasionally become celebrity. He was born in the context of cynicism to improve the government, but he also had to participate in consumerism celebritism.
Closing this article, I think it's time for the President to have his own political communication team. As far as I know, the President does not have his own political communication team. The President only has two spokesman to communicate his political messages.
Learning from United States, the President political communication team can be placed under the president's office or the State Secretariat. The team has a task to find out the public reaction towards certain policy taken by the government. This team may also propose to change a policy in order to reduce public resistance.
In developed countries, a political communication team has a pollster and marketer. Pollster has a task to get a comprehensive picture of public reaction. While marketer will find a way of socializing effectively, so that policies taken could be supported widely by the public. The first objective of the establishment of this team, is that the political communication done by the President and his entire staff can be maximized for the people best interest.
- Almond, Gabriel A. and James Coleman. 1960. The Politics of the Developing Areas. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
- Alfian. 1991. Komunikasi Politik dalam Sistem Politik Indonesia. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama.
· Apter, David E. 1985. Pengantar Analisa Politik. Jakarta: PT. Pustaka LP3ES Indonesia.
- Budiarjo, Miriam. 2003. Dasar-Dasar Ilmu Politik. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
- J.A. Denny. 2006. Jalan Panjang Reformasi. Jakarta: Pustaka Sinar Harapan.
· Meinanda, Teguh. 1981. Pengantar Ilmu Komunikasi. Bandung: CV. Armico.
· Meinanda, Teguh. 1981. Pengantar Ilmu Komunikasi dan Jurnalistik. Bandung: CV. Armico.
· Nimmo, Dan. 2005. Komunikasi Politik. Khalayak dan Efek. Bandung: PT Remaja Rosdakarya.
- Nimmo, Dan. 2005. Komunikasi Politik. Komunikator, Pesan, dan Media. Bandung: PT Remaja Rosdakarya.
· Susanto, Astrid S. 1985. Komunikasi Sosial di Indonesia. Bandung: Binacipta.
- Rauf, Maswardi and Mappi Nasrun. 1993. Indonesia dan Komunikasi Politik. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama.
 Alumni Program Studi Ilmu Politik Institut Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik (IISIP) Jakarta.
 Dan Nimmo. 2005. Komunikasi Politik. Komunikator, Pesan, dan Media. Bandung: PT Remaja Rosdakarya. P. 6.
 Miriam Budiarjo. 2003. Dasar-Dasar Ilmu Politik. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama. P. 8.
 Alfian. 1991. Komunikasi Politik dalam Sistem Politik Indonesia. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama. P. 5.
 Maswardi Rauf dan Mappi Nasrun. 1993. Indonesia dan Komunikasi Politik. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama. P. 20.
 Maswardi Rauf dan Mappi Nasrun. 1993. Indonesia dan Komunikasi Politik. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama. P. 80.
 Dan Nimmo. 2005. Komunikasi Politik. Komunikator, Pesan, dan Media. Bandung: PT Remaja Rosdakarya. P. 13.
 Maswardi Rauf dan Mappi Nasrun. 1993. Indonesia dan Komunikasi Politik. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama. P. 80.
 Dan Nimmo. 2005. Komunikasi Politik. Komunikator, Pesan, dan Media. Bandung: PT Remaja Rosdakarya. P. 231.
 Was expressed in Gusest Speaker Lectures in Institute of Social and Political Science Jakarta, 8 June 2007.
 Republika, 5 October 2005.
 Newton N. Minow et al. 1973. Presidential Television. New York: Basic Books, Inc. Quoted from
Dan Nimmo. 2005. Komunikasi Politik. Komunikator, Pesan, dan Media. Bandung: PT Remaja Rosdakarya. P. 242.
 Usually in form of official speech.
 Dan Nimmo. 2005. Komunikasi Politik. Komunikator, Pesan, dan Media. Bandung: PT Remaja Rosdakarya. P. 244.
 Dan Nimmo. 2005. Komunikasi Politik. Kahalayak dan Efek. Bandung: PT Remaja Rosdakarya. P. 24
 Dan Nimmo. 2005. Komunikasi Politik. Kahalayak dan Efek. Bandung: PT Remaja Rosdakarya. P. 30.
 Was expressed in Gusest Speaker Lecture in Institute of Social and Political Science Jakarta, 8 June 2007.
 The President did assigned 7 Minister and 1 ministerial-level official to attend the Iranian Interpellation Court.
 Kompas, 9 June 2007.
 Was expressed in Gusest Speaker Lecture in Institute of Social and Political Science Jakarta, 8 June 2007.
 Gabriel A. Almond and James Coleman. 1960. The Politics of the Developing Areas. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. P. 64.
 David E. Apter. 1985. Pengantar Analisa Politik. Jakarta: PT. Pustaka LP3ES Indonesia. P. 18.
 Teguh Meinanda. 1981. Pengantar Ilmu Komunikasi dan Jurnalistik. Bandung: CV. Armico. P. 14.
 Teguh Meinanda. 1981. Pengantar Ilmu Komunikasi. Bandung: CV. Armico. P. 5.
 Conversion Institution in Montesquie trias politica system are Executive, Legislative, and Yudicative. See David E. Apter. 1985. Pengantar Analisa Politik. Jakarta: PT. Pustaka LP3ES Indonesia.
 Was expressed in Political Introduction Lecture in Institute of Social and Political Science Jakarta, 8 January 2007. See also David E. Apter. 1985. Pengantar Analisa Politik. Jakarta: PT. Pustaka LP3ES Indonesia.
 Teguh Meinanda. 1981. Pengantar Ilmu Komunikasi. Bandung: CV. Armico. P. 6.
 Political participation is citizen participation in political activities and taking part in decision making process. See Phillip Althoff and Michael Rush in Pengantar Sosiologi Politik.
 Teguh Meinanda. 1981. Pengantar Ilmu Komunikasi dan Jurnalistik. Bandung: CV. Armico. p.15-16.
 Kompas, 3 June 2007.
 Denny J.A. 2006. Jalan Panjang Reformasi. Jakarta: Pustaka Sinar Harapan. P. 54.