Friday, September 07, 2012
Time-Release Political Rhetoric
Our nominating conventions have come to a close. Discussion abounds on the interwebs about form and content of speeches, use (and over use) of traditional rhetorical devices. Focusing on the aspect of persuasion, I originally inquired as to the actual persuasiveness of speeches made to a carefully cultivated audience of true believers and was reminded that the intended audience is quite a bit larger than the actual, physically present audience.
My colleague Jason DeSanto (https://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/profiles/JasonDeSanto/) articulated the composition of the expanded, intended audience in his regular spot as a political analyst on Chicago Tonight. Jason explained that the intended audience of this week’s convention speeches varied (in part) depending on the scheduled time and timing of the speech. For example, the first half hour of Bill Clinton’s almost one-hour speech was directed specifically at an audience comprised as “the base,” of the Democratic party, which he described as “women, Hispanics, and youth.” The second half of Clinton’s speech, beginning at the approximate time of the evening news hour, contained political rhetoric geared toward persuading independent voters, swing voters and blue collar voters. Crafting a message at once to appeal to a wide audience while in the same speech honing in on a select audience on a time-release basis is certainly a commendable persuasive technique.
Posted by DBorman on September 7, 2012 at 03:26 PM | Permalink
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Posted by: Ann | Sep 13, 2012 4:45:04 AM
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