a content comparison of the verbal speeches delivered
by george herbert walker bush (1992) and george walker bush (2000)

Abstract

This paper sought to compare the campaign rhetoric of President George Herbert Walker Bush with that of his Son, Texas Governor George Walker Bush*. The purpose of this comparison was to determine if family ties can be considered a factor in rhetorical analysis of political speech.

This presence of such a variable would be interesting, for it would offer insight into the nature of public discourse. How much of what a candidate says are his own thoughts? How much can a candidate alter his or her speech patterns to achieve political success.

The study drew upon the campaign speeches of President Bush from the 1992 presidential campaign and the speeches of Governor Bush from the 200 presidential campaign. Using the content analysis software package DICTION, the speeches of each Bush were scored and compared by creating a rank-order of the rhetorical values.

The study found that while the rank-order comparison showed a general pattern between the two men, President Bush tended to score higher in most categories. This phenomenon can be interpreted to mean that the younger Bush is simply not as an effective speaker as the elder Bush, that the differences in competition faced by the two men called for different rhetorical strategies or that the younger Bush was simply more moderate in his speeches than his father.

*Note: Due to the passage of the family name from father to son, a chief pair of operational definitions needed to be established to avoid confusion. Although both Bushes did become president (at the time of this writing, George W. Bush has just been declared the president-elect), the researcher chose to refer to each by the respective positions he held during his campaign. Thus, for the purpose of this study, "President Bush" will refer exclusively to George Herbert Walker Bush, the father, and "Governor Bush" will refer to George Walker Bush, the son.

 


Abstract

Introduction

Literature Review

Methodology

Results

Discussion

Reference List

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