Campaign '96: A Functional Analysis of Acclaiming, Attacking, and Defending
Praeger, Jan 1, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 264 pages
Benoit, Blaney, and Pier apply the functional theory of political campaign discourse to the 1996 presidential campaign. When a citizen casts a vote, he or she makes a decision about which candidate is preferable. There are only three types of rhetorical strategies for persuading voters to believe a candidate is the better choice: acclaiming or self-praise, attacking or criticizing an opponent, and defending or responding to attacks. As they illustrate, acclaims, if accepted by the audience, make the candidate appear better. Attacks can make the opponent seem worse, improving the source's apparent preferability. If attacked, a candidate can attempt to restore--or prevent--lost credibility by defending against that attack. As Benoit, Blaney, and Pier point out, the functional theory of political communication is relatively new, and their book illustrates it with a detailed analysis of the most recent presidential campaign. One of the major strengths of the study is the variety of message forms examined: television spots, debates, talk radio appearances, keynote speeches, acceptance speeches, speeches by spouses, radio addresses, and free television time remarks. It also examines all three parts of the campaign--primary, nominating conventions, and general campaign. This comprehensive analysis of the '96 presidential campaign will be of considerable use to students, scholars, and other researchers dealing with contemporary American electioneering.
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A Functional Theory of Political Campaign
Acclaiming Attacking and Defending
How We Analyzed Campaign 96 Messages
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acceptance addresses acclaims and attacks accused Alexander American analysis analyzed attacked Clinton's audience balance the budget Bayh Benoit Bill Clinton Blaney Bob Dole Buchanan Bush campaign messages candidate's challengers Democratic discussed policy Dole's past deeds economy Elaborating Acclaims election Elizabeth Dole example flat tax focused free television future plans goals Gramm Hillary Rodham Clinton ideals important to voters increase incumbent Issues Addressed Jack Kemp Kaid Keyes keynote speeches Lamar Alexander left number Medicare and health Michael Dukakis million Molinari nominating convention opponent opponent's paign party percent personal qualities persuasive attack Phil Gramm Pier policy and character Policy versus Character political advertising political campaign discourse political spots polls positive praise President Clinton presidential debates primary debates radio addresses raise taxes remarks Republican primary rhetorical right number Senate Steve Forbes Strategies for Elaborating talk radio tax cut television advertisements television spots topics TV Spots utterances vote