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Copy of Rhetorical Analysis: Ann Richards

It occurs to me that this speech would have been a lot better if Dukakis had won.

DeShara Johnson

on 7 February 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Rhetorical Analysis: Ann Richards

Ann Richards DNC Keynote Pathos Ethos Logos Conclusion Speaker: Ann Richards, who was the Texas State Treasurer at the time of the address. She would go on to serve one term as governor of Texas from 1991- 1995. Occasion: The 1988 Democratic National Convention, in which Michael Dukakis, governor of Massachusetts, became the Democratic nominee for President of the United Sates and Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas won the nomination for Vice President. Audience: Richards was speaking to members of the Democratic Convention, made up of an audience of democratic supporters, but also to a television audience of mixed political affiliation, mainly democratic and independent. Purpose: Richards’ purpose in her address is to persuade voters that the democratic ticket for President is better for the country than the Republican candidates. She tries to persuade by bringing up the failed policies of the Vice-President, who was running for President, George Bush, as well as giving her personal opinions about how the Republican Party failed to think of the common American. Tone: Richards’ has a split tone throughout the address. When addressing Republican policies and how the former administration dealt with political issues, Richards’ tone is critical, where she not only says that the policies were wrong, but also that the Republican candidate tried to ignore the issues. When talking about Democratic candidate Dukakis, Richards has a tone of optimism by saying that the Democratic Party is the party that thinks that the country can always be better. She is also didactic when she tries to use facts to persuade her audience to agree with her views. Ann Richards tries to establish the credibility of her and the Democratic Party by bringing up the achievements of the party, saying, “As I sit there, I wonder if she’ll ever grasp the changes I’ve seen in my life -- if she’ll ever believe that there was a time when blacks could not drink from public water fountains, when Hispanic children were punished for speaking Spanish in the public schools, and women couldn’t vote… and I will tell Lily that those triumphs were Democratic Party triumphs.” Richards also brings credibility to the Democrats by showing the stature of their political opponents, mainly President Ronald Reagan and (then) Vice-President George Bush. The effect of this tactic was to establish the credibility of her party and its presidential candidate in order to present him as a viable alternative to George Bush. Richards brings a logical approach to her speech by presenting the shortcomings of the Republican Party. Richards brings up the fact that the Republican Party lied to the public about how the CIA was trying to fight a drug war while knowing about the trade routes of the Cartel into Chicago without acting on that information. She also says that the Republican lead war on terror is hypocritical because the administration had been giving weapons to the Ayatollah. She also says that the Republican Party and the current administration has lead America into the deepest deficit in the countries history. The effect of this tactic is to persuade the audience that the Republican views and ideas are failed ideas. It is used in order to persuade the audience that democratic approaches are better than Republican approaches to governing. Richards makes an emotional argument by bringing up her childhood in a small town outside of Waco, Texas, reminiscing about the times when her parents and neighbors would talk about politics speak straight forward about how they felt. She also says that she wishes politicians were that straightforward with their constituents, saying that FDR was the only president to do so. Richards brings up her granddaughter Lily, and that she can’t wait for the day when she can talk to Lily about politics and the world, while at the same time expressing her wishes for a safe future for Lily. The effect of this strategy is that the audience is able to connect with her upbringing and and thoughts on the political issues in a moral way. It is used in order to draw sympathy and to persuade. Richards' keynote address launched her into the forefront of the political stage, bringing her from being a relatively uknown, to a major player in the political field. Although the Democratic party lost the 1988 Presidential election, Richards did win the governorship in Texas two years later, and the democrats took back the White House when Bill Clinton won in 1992
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