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By William L. Benoit

Crusade 2000 applies the useful idea of political crusade discourse--analyzing how messages acclaim, assault, or defend--to a number of diversified sorts of crusade conversation within the 2000 U.S. presidential basic and common election. those kinds in

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Additional resources for Campaign 2000: A Functional Analysis of Presidential Campaign Discourse (Communication, Media, and Politics)

Sample text

A successful defense can restore a candidate’s preferability after it has been damaged by an attack. These three functions-acclaiming, attacking, and defending-allow voters to perform a simple form of cost-benefit analysis. Attacks increase an opponent’s apparent costs. Defenses can reduce a candidate’sperceivedcosts. Acclaims, then, can increase a candidate’s apparent benejits. Any one of these strategies, or two or three employed together, have the potential to persuade voters that a candidate is preferable to his or her opponents.

A successful defense can restore a candidate’s preferability after it has been damaged by an attack. These three functions-acclaiming, attacking, and defending-allow voters to perform a simple form of cost-benefit analysis. Attacks increase an opponent’s apparent costs. Defenses can reduce a candidate’sperceivedcosts. Acclaims, then, can increase a candidate’s apparent benejits. Any one of these strategies, or two or three employed together, have the potential to persuade voters that a candidate is preferable to his or her opponents.

Political campaign discourse is, of necessity, comparative:Each candidate strives to obtain enough votes to win by persuading voters that he (or she) is preferable to other candidates. There are only three ways to demonstrate one’s preferability. First, one can acclaim, or engage in self-praise. The better a candidate for office appears, the more likely that candidate will receive a citizen’s vote. For example, in this television spot, Gore 17 18 Chapter2 offered these acclaims: Vietnam veteran.

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