As a modern democratic society, the United States has seen enormous number of public communication campaigns. American presidential campaigns have their own distinct and influential position among them due to the sheer scope and range of such campaigns. Since American presidential campaigns are of long duration and watched by a large audience, they become the stage for the unfolding of most sophisticated communication strategies and tactics. Political rhetoric has profound influence in the making of the United States presidential election results. For a deep rhetorical analysis, a selected study in the context of American presidential elections would be an ideal choice.
Michelle Obama, the American Lawyer and the wife of the 2008 Democratic nominee for the President of the United States of the America, Barack Obama. Michelle has been in a number of controversies since she sarted involving in the presidential campaigns as the prospective next first lady of the United States. In her famous August 2008 Democratic National Convention Speech gives a good portrayal of political rhetoric as a tool for disseminating a social construct, a built-up myth through a well crafted verbal image which is grounded on and legitimized by a prevalent, dominant ideology. In the speech, she presents a carefully constructed verbal image that sought to portray Barack Obama and her family as an embodiment of the American Dream, by forcefully putting forward the success story of her family.
Simply speaking, rhetoric is the art of persuasion. Rhetoric involves constructing ideas that could effectively symbolize what is advantageous to us. It implies that language is deployed in a particular way to achieve a determined response from a targeted group. Rhetoric is not only a real practice but also the theoretical study of discourse. It could be for leading them to a particular set of actions, to restrain them from something, to alter their beliefs or to inculcate new beliefs in them. Conventionally, rhetoric is considered as argumentation and persuasion. In the ancient world, it is important to note that rhetoric was major branch of academic learning along with grammar and logic. "In the Renaissance, rhetoric was regarded as a practical field of study for those interested in politics and law" (Edgar and Sedgwick, 2004, p.340). "Then in the 20 th century Kenneth Burke, Stephen Toulmin and Chaim Perelman with Lucie Olbrechts- Tyteca extended Aristotle's suggestion that: "Rhetoric is the counterpart of dialectic" (Mackery, 2005, p.2). There is a strong relationship between ones ability to influence the society and his/her ability to realize personal goals. Traditionally, Aristotle conceived rhetoric as an art of persuasion and its study as an effort to identify what is persuasive in a given situation. For Aristotle, messages become persuasive due to three proofs or appeals, namely Ethos, Pathos and Logos. The credibility of the speaker, referred as ethos, is an important factor in making a speech persuasive