This study investigates the presidential candidates’ nomination acceptance ad-dresses in 2008 and 2012. This study applied Benoit’s (2007) Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse to the four Acceptances (one from McCain, two from Obama, and one from Romney). Traditionally the conventions kick off the general election campaign and the nominees’ acceptance addresses are high-lights of these events. This work extends previous research on acceptance ad-dresses speeches from 1952-2004. The speeches in 2008 and 2012 used acclaims (73%) more than attacks (27%) or defenses (0.5%). Incumbents acclaimed more, and attacked less, than challengers, particularly when they discussed their records in office (past deeds). They discussed policy at about the same rate as character (52% to 48%). General goals and ideals were used more often as the basis of acclaims than attacks in these speeches.
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Benoit, William L.
"A Functional Analysis of 2008 and 2012 Presidential Nomination Acceptance Addresses,"
Speaker & Gavel: Vol. 51
, Article 5.
Available at: https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/speaker-gavel/vol51/iss1/5