The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
campaign rhetoric 2008


Deep Thought

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 20, 2008 - 4:15pm

Would Hillary really be so bad for VP? Or maybe via a Stevenson in 1956 scenario?


"Rhetorical Questions"

Submitted by Jim Brown on August 19, 2008 - 11:39am

In this month's Atlantic, James Fallows performs an interesting rhetorical analysis of primary debates in order to predict what kind of president Obama or McCain might be. He focuses much more on Obama, arguing that the Republican debates played a smaller role in McCain's nomination. In many ways this seems to be a cop out, and it could be argued that this turns into an Obama puff piece, but the mere fact that it's entitled "Rhetorical Questions" means that Fallows' discussion deserves The Blogora's attention.


"Aim Low," sez Bush Speechwriter

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 18, 2008 - 3:22pm

Robin Masters has some advice for Obama's and McCain's convention speeches.


Civil Forum Transcripts, etc.

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 17, 2008 - 10:37am

Here are the transcripts from the Faith Event at Saddleback Church. Videos here. I think Obama blew the "when does life begin?" question (and I note it's the section featured by Drudge this morning.)


"People of Faith" Doesn't Include Jews

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 14, 2008 - 10:36am

Why has no one in the MSM pointed out that the Rick Warren/Obama/McCain
faith event, besides continuing our drift toward a State Religion of Evangelicalism, is scheduled at a time when observant Jews cannot attend or watch? Should you wish to point out that being evangelical seems never to mean respecting other religions, here is their email: Phone number is: (949) 609-8000


Obama as Forerunner

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 2, 2008 - 8:12am

The Obama-Britney-Paris ad from McCain has been puzzling me all week. Racist subtext? maybe. Obama as forerunner of the Antichrist? more likely. Larry Madill over at DailyKos explains. Hal Lindsey, who popularized End Times mythmaking (and was one of the "theologians" referred to by Reagan in the 1984 presidential debate) released this column at the time same as the McCain ad.


Obama's Teflon

Submitted by Jim Brown on July 30, 2008 - 8:18am

Slate's Jack Shafer discusses the fact that nothing sticks to Obama. He rejects the thesis that the press is soft on Obama by pointing to stories about Reverend Wright, Obama's compromise on an energy bill that reportedly benefitted a donor, his relationship with Tony Rezko, and many more. Shafer then asks:


Kairos and All That

Submitted by Jim Aune on July 29, 2008 - 8:47am

A collection of the current CW on vice-presidential choices. Gov. Kaine of VA appears to be leading the Obama list at the moment. I don't see how that's a good idea, but speculation is cheap, so here's my suggestion: a one-off (no second term), end-the-war VP for Obama: Anthony Zinni. Beats McCain on militariness and gravitas. And: he's an Italian-American. OK, have at me. Any better ideas?


Tracking Religious Rhetoric in Campaign 2008

Submitted by Jim Aune on July 15, 2008 - 8:05pm

This is way cool. The Berkley Center at Georgetown has set up the The Faith 2008 Database. It "tracks religious rhetoric in the campaign by candidate and theme, and features historical and international comparisons." (Every now and then I think we rhetoricians might we winning. I cannot imagine such a prestigious university center using the term "rhetoric" this way twenty years ago.)