Bill Clinton Dnc Speech
As first stated by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, the art of rhetoric in persuasive speaking is based upon the usage of the three key components, logos, ethos and pathos. Logos representing the usage of logic and reasoning within the speech or text, ethos representing the writer or speaker’s credibility and pathos representing how the speaker or author establishes an emotional connection with the audience.
In former president Bill Clinton’s 2012 democratic national convention he relies heavily upon Aristotle’s persuasive speaking techniques to help convince the participants of the convention and those watching at home to reelect the nominee of the Democratic Party, current president Barack Obama.
Bill Clinton Dnc Speech Essay Example
Through his usage of logos by referencing statistics of Obama’s presidency, ethos mostly through his integrity as former president of the United States and his political past, and pathos through his use of humor and appeal to tender emotions such as sympathy, Clinton establishes a sense of belonging to the Democratic Party and effectively conveys his overall message of reelection of the current president.
Appealing to a human’s emotions is arguably one of the most powerful mechanisms in trying to persuade an audience to believe in one’s argument. Clinton starts his speech by repeatedly referencing the audience as “we democrats” and using phrases such as “every one of us” and “every one of them” heavily in his speech. The usage of these key phrases efficiently establishes a sense of community and belonging not only within the audience but also between the audience and himself.
This sense of togetherness helps to create an image of the former president as just another member of the Democratic Party who also understands what the common man is going through today and has a solution to their everyday problems unlike those in the opposite party. It also helps to unite the party in this common cause to reelect the president and support what he has done so far. Clinton also uses pathos in a sense that his humor and sarcasm could be felt throughout his speech and also helped to link the former president to the common man.
He takes a jab at the republican national convention by indirectly calling them professional liars through their clean appearance and ability to convince the people that they are good Christians whose only worry is the general welfare of Americans and how they almost had Clinton himself convinced that they were telling the truth which drew good laughter from the crowd. As the crowd laughs, they find themselves more and more attracted to Clinton, making it easier for him to convince them of his arguments, effectively using the benefits of pathos and he doesn’t stop there.
Clinton also goes on to mention that the other candidate plans on cutting spending on government programs such as head start preschool program for poor children which evoked a sense of compassion from anyone in the audience who is around children or sympathizes with under privileged children which was practically everyone in the audience also effectively allowing Clinton to find another connection with the audience. Another persuasive technique he utilizes is his usage of logic and reasoning by referencing facts and statistics.
His reference to actual political facts helps to convince those in the audience who aren’t as easily swayed solely through their emotions. He points out that in the past 52 years the Republican Party was in charge for 28 years and the democrats for 24 years and according to the math out of the 66 million jobs created in those 52 years, 24 million was created by Republicans and 42 million created by democrats. These statistics help to illustrate the efficiency of the political policies of the Democratic Party and that the math proves their policies are the best and more effective way to go.
He also goes on and brings the focus of his logos to the present by acknowledging the 2010 Recovery Act Obama passed which cut taxes for 95% of Americans and created 4 and a half private sector jobs within the last 29 months. This use of facts helps to present actual evidence behind his claims about the president’s success and persuades skeptics that he couldn’t possibly be wrong due to the fact that his argument has now shifted to be based on the truth and numbers and not only the emotions of the audience.
Finally, Clinton shifts to ethos to finish off his speech strongly and efficiently. Without him even mentioning it, his credibility as a speaker is already set due to the fact that he was the last democratic president of the United States which in a lot of people’s opinions qualifies him as someone who could accurately talk about the recovery of the county and know what is going on. Even before he was president, Clinton was also the governor of Arkansas who worked with previous republican presidents such as Ronald Reagan on welfare reform and George H.
W. Bush to help with the national education goals, furthering his credibility as a political figure who has the background to sustain the claims he’s making in his speech to support the reelection of president Obama. At the end of the speech, I personally felt Clinton was very professional and efficient in using those rhetorical strategies in a sense that at the end of the 50 minute speech he had me believing in his case due to the way he implemented logos, ethos, and pathos as described in the previous paragraphs.
Not only did I connect with the emotions he was conveying with his words, but his use of statistics and facts also gave me solid empirical evidence I could actually hold on to. In conclusion, through former president Bill Clinton’s use of rhetorical strategies such as logos, ethos, and pathos to express his wisdom and advice, he establishes a sense of belonging to the Democratic Party and effectively conveys his overall message of reelection of the current president.