McCluskey, Michael R.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
This study characterizes the evolution of rhetoric used in certain presidential campaigns as evidenced through primary and secondary research, including research on the radio electioneering in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1932 campaign, television advertisements and speeches in President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 campaign, and the Twitter usage of President Donald Trump during his 2016 Presidential Campaign and the first year of his presidency. The research focuses on these presidents’ use of each medium to disseminate campaign materials by examining specific word choice, use of visuals or audio, and how these messages translated into behavioral changes in terms of voter turnout. The main purpose of this research is to analyze how presidential rhetoric may change depending on the medium used to propagate the message, which will provide perspective on the aspects of political rhetoric that have become institutionalized over time as well as rhetoric that is unique to its medium and time period. This paper seeks to investigate the methods in which these presidents utilize their medium of choice to disseminate messages among a massive audience, with the expectation that rhetoric used and the frequency of exposure will play a large role in the success of each movement.
This project was completed under the guidance of UTC Communication Department faculty members: Dr. Elizabeth Gailey and Dr. Michael McCluskey.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Persuasion (Rhetoric) in mass media; Presidential candidates; Presidents--Election
Mass Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication
Garrett, Logan, "The rise of the postmodern presidency: the evolution of rhetoric and media usage in presidential election campaigns" (2020). Honors Theses.