What is it about?

This article is an analysis of Bill Clinton's and Bob Dole's rhetorical strategies during the 1996 presidential debates. Clinton resorted heavily to implicit audience-oriented strategies while Dole's persuasion was more explicit. The difference in personal pronoun use was striking: Clinton used the audience-inclusive "we" more; Dole resorted more to the use of "I," "you," and "they."

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Why is it important?

The analysis shows some key features of successful strategies in political rhetoric.


I hope this article underscores the importance of pronoun selection in political persuasion. The use of the inclusive "we" crystallizes as a successful strategy.

Dr. Helena Halmari
Sam Houston State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: On the language of the Clinton-Dole presidential campaign debates, Journal of Language and Politics, November 2008, John Benjamins,
DOI: 10.1075/jlp.7.2.04hal.
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