rhetorical genius

I’m not a big fan of Hillary Clinton, but I’m glad she won last night — it extends this fascinating race out longer, and since I’m not a huge fan of any of the top three (Clinton, Obama, Edwards), it’ll be nice to just wait and see what happens.

But I thought Clinton’s start to her speech last night was amazing:

“I come tonight with a very, very full heart. And I want especially to thank New Hampshire. Over the last week I listened to you, and in the process, I found my own voice.”

Good move, I think.

EDIT: Via Chuck Tryon, here’s the video of Clinton’s speech. You should also check out Tryon’s analysis of Clinton and Obama’s speeches.

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3 Responses to rhetorical genius

  1. Chuck says:

    They were both excellent speeches. I’m especially interested in Clinton’s shift in rhetoric. In an MSNBC discussion, Eugene Robinson noted that Obama had made extensive use of the pronoun “we” while Hillary and Edwards have a tendency to use the first-person.

    Clinton’s shift here implies a more inclusive campaign, which I think will help her in the long run (even if the use of “we” and “you” is primarily a rhetorical gesture).

  2. Vicki TB says:

    Today on Meet the Press, Hillary Clinton made the argument that Obama’s campaign is heavily based on a 2002 speech opposing the Iraq war, along with a couple of other speeches. She encouraged Russert and voters to look at the actions Obama has taken since then (his votes that support the war in various ways) as well as what legislation he actually proposed (not much?). Repeatedly, she said, in essence, rhetoric is powerful, but what matters is political action. Teaching Isocrates and Plato’s Phaedrus this week, I am struck by the deep rhetorical roots of her argument.

  3. Michael says:

    Thanks Vicki. I hope your class is going well — this election cycle would be a fun time to be taking your course!

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