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Title: Beating a Dead Elephant: Rhetorical Appeals of the Romneys’ and Obamas’ 2012 National Convention Speeches
Author: Jette, Ashley
Advisor: Smith, Tania
Keywords: Speech Communication;Rhetoric and Composition;American Studies;Political Science
Issue Date: 8-Jan-2016
Abstract: This thesis examines the rhetorical strategies used in the speeches of Mitt and Ann Romney, and Barack and Michelle Obama at the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. It does so in order to gain insight into the communications strategies of each of the major political parties, and project about the future directions of The Republican Party. The method of this study involves a comparative rhetorical analysis of the four speeches mentioned, and examines the rhetorical strategies used in each of these speeches. Similarities and differences were observed between the ways that each speaker appealed to Americans of lower socioeconomic status, female voters, and Christian voters. Additionally, news media and other online sources were used to contextualize each speech, and gauge audience responses to them. This study hypothesizes that in order to continue to contend with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party may need to alter its rhetoric to be more appealing to diverse groups of voters.
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