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Abstract

This study investigates the nature of presidential announcement speeches, messages that introduce the current crop of contenders for the White House to voters and the news media. Announcement speeches are typically voters‘ initial exposure to these politicians as candidates for the White House. Seventy-five presidential announcement speeches from 1960 through 2004 were analyzed with the Functional Theory of Campaign Discourse. Acclaims were over three times as common as attacks; defenses were quite rare. Republicans and winners were more positive than Democrats or losers. These speeches were evenly split between policy and character. Democrats discussed policy more, and character less, than Republicans. Candidates emphasized issues owned by their political party more than candidates from the opposing party.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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