Comm 4216/5216 Political Communication

Fall 2012

Lang 8


last updated Ocotber 9, 2012

Instructor: Catherine H. Palczewski, Ph.D.
Office: Lang Hall 341
Office hours:
  • Tues: 11:00a-12:00p, 5:00p-6:00p
  • Weds: 11:00a - 12:00p, 2:00p-3:00p
  • Thurs: 11:00a-12:00p
no office hours September 26-27, November 13-15
If these times do not work, feel free to call or email to make an appointment.
Office Phone: 273-2714 Mailbox: Lang Hall 326 e-mail:
Acknowledgements: This syllabus would not be possible without the assistance of faculty at UNI and other universities who have shared their ideas, assignments and syllabi, and I thank them for their help, particularly: Al Louden, Justin Holmes, Tom Hollihan. This syllabus is better because of their help.
New information will appear in pink
assignment due dates are in red
links are in purple and blue

Course Description: Political communication, broadly defined, is any form of communication that implements, negotiates, or recognizes power relations. In this way, political communication may occur between two people, or it may be a speech heard by millions. This course, however, will focus on two specific areas of U.S. political communication: campaigns and presidential rhetoric. The first half of the course will examine rhetoric related to the presidential and gubernatorial/congressional election process, from campaign to election. The second half will look at the intersections of presidential rhetoric and public controversy by examining presidential rhetoric from inaugural to farewell. Throughout the course, we will examine the interplay of sex, race, and class with public policy issues and the political process.

 Course Objectives:

1) Achieve an understanding of how presidents and candidates employ and are constrained by rhetorical genres.

2) Improve rhetorical criticism skills.

3) Inquire into the intersection of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender, and power.

4) Recognize how public discourse creates political realities.

5) Improve discussion skills.

Required Texts:

Hollihan, T. A. (2008). Uncivil wars: Political campaigns in a media age (2nd edition). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's. (UW)

Brock, B.L., Huglen, M.E., Klumpp, J.F., & Howell, S. (2005). Making sense of political ideology. New York: Rowman & Littlefield. (MSPI)

Electronic sources are listed in the syllabus (thus accessing them should be easy because the electronic syllabus contains links to all electronic readings listed). You will be expected to print out paper copies (or download files of the electronic documents if you use a laptop in class) so that you can refer to them in class during discussion. Anything without a live link will be located in eLearning. If you have any trouble accessing links, immediately let me know. I have copied many of the speeches to local files in case the linked sites go down.

Strongly Recommended Texts

Style manual of choice – either APA Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (at bookstore) or MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (in library)

You might also consider signing onto FactCheck's email list. FactCheck is a nonpartisan group, housed at U. of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communicaiton, that monitors campaigns (particularly ads) for false statements. Their evolving coverage, for example on the SwiftBoat Veterans ad, was particularly interesting. To sign on, go to their website: and use "Fact Chek Connection" on the right wide of the screen.

General Information:see This site includes my late policy, the university accommodation policy, the university plagiarism policy, as well as paper format descriptions. Please take the time to review it.

Student Etiquette: Lively debate, discussion, and disagreement on issues are encouraged in class. But respect for other people, their opinions, and experiences is essential. The most productive way to disagree with another is to say, “I disagree with you because…” and explain and justify your position. Although everyone is entitled to her/his opinion, the reality is that some opinions are better supported and more reasonable than other opinions; thus, be able to explain why you hold the opinion you do and why you think your opinion is better supported than another’s. Engage each other in a reasoned exchange of ideas. In other words, present an argument (a claim supported by data, with reasons/warrants as to why that data is relevant to the claim).

Throughout the semester we will encounter a variety of sensitive issues given gender/sex is an intensely sensitive and personal aspect of being human. The content of this class has the potential to stir up strong emotional reactions. You will encounter ideas and theories that challenge you. Students are asked to follow some guidelines to help maintain a constructive learning environment. Participants in this class must be open to looking at gender from a variety of perspectives. Further, it is possible that films, readings, images, music, etc. used in this class may be considered “offensive” by some. A student’s decision to stay enrolled in the class is an agreement to approach all course content with a critical academic lens. Above all, participants must treat each other with respect. The most fundamental way to respect class participants is to complete daily readings, listen to others, and ground your own comments in principles of critical thinking. Class discussions should take place within the context of academic inquiry and in the spirit of understanding diverse perspectives and experiences. Do not engage in private conversations, interrupt another student who has the floor, keep pagers and cell phones on, or show general signs of disrespect for the course, professor, or other students. Non-course related materials such as newspapers and items from other courses must be stowed away when class begins.


Assignment Due Date Point worth
1. Midterm October 11 15
2. Campaign rhetoric analysis October 25 10
3. Presidential rhetoric analysis Possible Dates: October 30; November 1, 6, 8, 27, 29 10
4. Video response November 16, 5pm (email to 10
5a. Final exam (written) December 11, 3:00-4:50pm 20
5b. Final exam (oral) December 11, 3:00-4:50pm 5
6. Artifact analysis before or on December 4 10
7. Discusssion every class period 20

Assignments are worth a total of 100 points. However, for each assignment you can earn fractions of points (so, you can think of it as a 1000 point scale if it makes you feel better). If you need to figure your letter grade at any point in the semester, simply divide the number of points you have by the number of possible points you could have earned. For your final grade, simply add up all the points for each assignment. Points are noted in brackets. Simply doing the base requirements of each assignment will earn you a "C" -- this means you have done acceptable work. To earn a "B" you must go beyond the assignment expectations or fulfill them in an above average way. To earn an "A" you must go far beyond the assignment expectations and fulfill the base expectations in an exceptional manner.

Detailed descriptions of all assignments appear on this syllabus. You are free to ask questions in class about the assignments, or contact me outside of class by email or phone. But, please be aware, I will NOT answer any questions about an assignment in the 48 hours before it is due. I recognize that students procrastinate, so, consider this an inducement to begin work early. This means if you have a question, you need to be prepared to ask it in the class session before your paper is due. I will not answer questions after that time. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date listed.

Page limits on all assignments will be rigorously enforced. You should spend time finding ways to write more concisely and clearly. If I find your paper long-winded, and you go over the page limit, I will quit reading. (If, however, you are brilliant and keep me captivated, I may not notice). And, given the expectations of each of the assignments, you probably will need to use the number of pages required. If, however, you are exceptionally concise, then I may not notice if your paper falls short of the required pages.

A bibliography should be turned in with every assignment. It will not count toward your page limit. On the top of the page, indicate the style (APA or MLA) that you think you are using.

TurnItIn requirement: For assignments 2, 3, (maybe) 5a, and 6 students are required to use TurnItIn in order to check they are not plagiarizing. Thus, for an assignment to be considered "turned in", students must have submitted an electronic version to TurnItIn before the assignment's due date and time, and also turn in a paper copy to the professor at the assigned due date and time. I have activated the TurnItIn website in such a way that you are allowed to submit drafts of your paper and receive originality reports. These reports should be used to assist you in making sure you are attributing authorship in an ethical way. The only originality report I will see is the final report on the version of the paper you turn into me. Students can access the TurnItIn website for each assignment via the class's eLearning site. Check the TurnItIn file, and then select the icon for the appropriate assignment. Please understand: using TurnItIn is only the first step in making sure your are abiding by citation guidelines and providing fair attribution. TurnItIn is only one way to check the originality of your work, and just because your work passes the TurnItIn check does not guarantee you have not plagiarized. You are responsible for using style manuals to make sure your citation format is correct and consistent.

Amount of work expected: The general guideline is that one semester hour of credit is the equivalent of approximately three hours of work (one hour of in-class time + 2 hours of out-of-class preparation) each week over the course of a whole semester. In a typical lecture/discussion course, each hour of class normally entails at least two hours of outside preparation for the average student. That means that for every week, students should set aside 6 hours outside of class to read, research, work on assignments, study for tests, etc. This standard is the basis on which the Registrar's Office assigns hours of University credit for courses.

Graduate students: Your assignments are determined in negotiation with the professor, and should involve work of a more in-depth nature. By the end of the second week of class, you should have turned in an personalized syllabus proposal that includes, for every assignment:

  1. name of assignment,
  2. description,
  3. due date,
  4. point worth (for a model format, see the undergraduate assignments below).

Your proposal should include as much detail on the assignments as this syllabus. Graduate students also will meet an additional hour each week for an intensive seminar, at a time to be determined by your schedules. Additional readings will be required for these meetings.

Undergraduate students:

1) Midterm Exam: [15 points] The exam will be in essay and/or short answer format. When studying for the midterm, use the key terms as a study guide. I will write the midterm based on the list of key terms. However, many of the questions will ask you to apply the key terms to an example of political communication. Accordingly, you will need to be familiar with all of the speeches read in class. A good way to study would be to have a study sheet that lists the key term, a definition of it, and then lists all the examples available from class discussions and from the readings. Due Date: October 11.

2) Campaign analysis papers [5 pages, 10 points]: Pick one example of any genre (announcement, stump speech, debate, keynote, acceptance, advertisement) of political campaign communication to analyze. The example must come from a campaign during the 2012 election cycle (the campaign can be at the local, state, or national level). Provide a complete text of the item analyzed (or provide an active url or CD-Rom if the text includes video). In the paper, do the folllowing:

  • outline the expectations attached to the genre (to complete this step, you should references the Uncivil Wars textbook as well as other published scholarship)
  • detail the ways in which your example does (or does not) fulfill the generic expectations (here, conduct a critical analysis of the text, measuring it against the criteria/expectations you outlined)
  • conclude with an analysis of the way in which language is used to express ideology and construct social reality (here, the MSPI textbook will be helpful). You may need to do additional research into the topic/s covered by your example to make sure you have a complete understanding of the policy issues at stake in the text.

In preparation for writing this analysis, remember to work through the analysis of the text and context (like we did with Mary Fisher's speech). For a reminder of those questions and the process, see:

Outline of descriptive analysis: text and context.

Step by step analysis of Fisher.

Due: October 25 -- remember to submit a copy to TurnItIn

3) Presidential rhetoric analysis [5 pages, 10 points]. Select an example of a presidential speech from one of the genres studied (inaugural, crisis, war, state of the union, farewell). The speech should be one of the ones we will be studying in class. Note: these papers are due on the first day of discussing the genre, so you will have to generate insights on your own and by doing your own research. Your insights can then help be a foundation for class discussion. In the paper, do the folllowing:

  • describe the rhetorical situation: describe the rhetor and his/her challenges (what was happening with current events? was a controversy swirling about a topic? what the speech in response to some event?)
  • outline the expectations attached to the genre (to complete this step, you should reference other published scholarship -- essays and books can be very helpful. See, esp. Campbell & Jamieson's Deeds Done in Words)
  • detail the ways in which your example does (or does not) fulfill the generic expectations and respond to the rhetorical situation
  • (here, conduct a critical analysis of the text, measuring it against the criteria/expectations you outlined)
  • conclude with an analysis of the way in which language is used to express ideology and construct social reality (here, the MSPI textbook will be helpful). You may need to do additional research into the topic/s covered by your example to make sure you have a complete understanding of the policy issues at stake in the text.

In preparation for writing this analysis, remember to work through the analysis of the text and context (like we did with Mary Fisher's speech). For a reminder of those questions and the process, see:

Outline of descriptive analysis: text and context.

Step by step analysis of Fisher.

Possible Due Dates: October 30; November 1, 6, 8, 27, 29 -- remember to submit a copy to TurnItIn

4) Video Response (10 points, 3 pages]: On November 13 and 15, you will watch videos about political communication. You should take notes during the videos so you can quote them if necessary. Write a short paper synthesizing and analyzing what you watched, using the following format.

1. Concisely state a main point of the video.

2. Respond to any two of the following prompts:

    • I agree with this argument and this is why.
    • I disagree with this argument and this is why.
    • This relates to the ongoing campaign in this way.
    • I am confused about _______ and this is why.

    3. I now understand ________ better. (In other words, did the video clarify something in the textbooks?)

Due Date: November 16, 5pm (email to

5) Final Exam: The final exam will be composed of two parts.

A) A take home essay exam. [20 points]. More details will be provided later in the semester. If the exam is takehome, remember to submit a copy to TurnItIn.

B) Oral presentation: [5 points]. Students will have approximately 5 minutes to present their exam answers. Depending on class size, the duration of the presentation may be altered. The presentation should focus on the core point the student made in the final exam.

More helpful hints:

1) Do NOT simply read your exam for your presentation. The presentation should be formal and professional, but not scripted. I suggest you speak from a detailed outline (remember to include quotations from the textbook in the outline to illustrate the points you want to make). Please bring two copies of the outline: one to speak from and one for me. DO practice the presentation to make sure your outline fits within the time limits. Time limits will be strictly enforced.

2) Presume the audience is not familiar with your exam, but is educated about gender in communication. Your presentation does NOT need to include detailed definitions of common terms from the textbook. However, do provide sufficient theoretical explanation of more complicated concepts so that the audience can follow your analysis.

3) Do not try to present all the arguments in your exam. You will not be able to cover everything in just 5 minutes. Instead, give a brief overview of all your arguments, and then pick one or two on which to focus the presentation.

Due Date: December 11: 3-4:50 p.m. Tuesday, December 11

6) Visual Artifact Analysis[2 pages, up to 10 points]. At any point during the semester, find an interesting artifact that is primarily visual and anaylze it. In particular, think about the way the visual taps into ideology, employs a visual ideograph, or leads the viewer to a false inference. To complete this assignment, you will need to turn in:

  • the original, or a high quality reproduction, of the visual artifact
  • full information about the image (source, creator, description of content, date, place, etc.)
  • information on how to access the original (i.e., bibliographic citation, url)
  • a 2 page analysis of the image

Examples turned in before September 27 can receive up to 10 points.

Examples turned in before November 8 can receive up to 9 points.

Examples turned in on December 4 can receive up to 8 points.

Due Date: Before or on December 4 -- remember to submit a copy to TurnItIn

7) Discussion: [20 points]. The success of this class depends on your participation. You will be expected to read assignments prior to the date assigned and to join in ALL class discussions. Students are encouraged to participate by bringing in relevant artifacts (newspaper articles, advertisements, TV shows, songs, job ads, etc.) to discuss. It is expected that we will have varying view points on issues discussed in class, and that we can learn from such disagreement. The professor should serve as a muse or a guide, but not a drill sergeant. For a class to be a location of invention, and not just regurgitation, you must come ready to talk, to think, to rethink and to engage. Otherwise, a seminar format class can devolve into just being an instance where the professor tells you what to think. Being a good participant does not mean that you always have the answer; it can also mean that you know when to ask the right questions and when to recognize that the answers have already been offered by the class but need to be synthesized. Discussion is a central component of this class insofar as each person's analysis of the readings can be enhanced by others' insights. For a detailed description of the criteria used in the assessment of discussion, see my discussion link.

Brain bounties. I always appreciate it when someone shares the citation for an excellent article, book, or website so that I can add it to the class. I also appreciate it when people indicate when faulty links exist on the syllabus. Given that I update the syllabus every time I teach this course, I need you to help me make sure everything works the way it should. Although this is not extra credit, per se, it will help you out at the end of the semester if you are on the verge of a higher grade. Also, should a question be asked in class for which I do not have a ready answer, if you research the answer then you are eligible for a bounty.

Weeks at a glance:

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9

Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Final

Syllabus: (This syllabus is subject to change, although that rarely happens.) If changes happen, they will be in hot pink.
Week Readings Assignments Key Concepts Discussion questions
1: August 21, 23: Introduction to political communication in the electronic age

read for August 21:

UW chapter 1

Left v. Right world

read for August 23:

Fisher, Mary. "Remarks at the Republican National Convention." August 19, 1992. For update, see NYT article.

Outline of descriptive analysis: text and context.

Step by step analysis of Fisher.

Review campaign websites:

Obama website

Romney website

supplemental new technologies and elections Bibliography


  public sphere, genre, elements of a rhetorical artifact, elements of a rhetorical situation, collective memory, mystification, narrative (probability and fidelity), politics is communication, social reality, ideology, hyperrealism


2: August 28, 30: issues and campaigning

August 27-30, 2012: Republican National Convention, Tampa Bay, FL


read for August 28:

UW chapter 2

MSPI chapter 1

read for August 30:

Jamiseon, Kathleen Hall. (2012, July 6). "Could a truly honest politician become president?" Washington Post. link

Dutton, Sarah. (2012, April 20). A history of the gender gap." Political Hotsheet. CBSnews. link

Parker, Ashley, & Gabriel, Trip. (2012, April 11). Romney taking steps to narrow his gender gap. The New York

supplemental information:

Tampa Bay TimesPolitifact

Polling bibliography


  agenda setting, ideology, reduction, synechdoche, political ideology, true compromise, science v. art of campaigning, condensation symbols, wedge issues, segmentation, psuedo issues, dramatic script, frame, Burkean view of language, decline of parties, base strategy

What are the issues in this year's election, and how do we know they are the issues? What are some interesting rhetorical questions posed by Iowa's 2006 election?

3: September 4, 6: ideology and media


September 3-6, 2012, Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, NC, not to be confused with:

read for September 4:

MSPI chapter 2

Dreier, Peter, and Martin, Christopher. (2012). “Job Killers” in the News: Allegations without Verification. Available at link

read for September 6:

UW chapter 5

Carlin, Diana B., & Winfrey, Kelly L. (2009, September/October). Communication Studies, 60(4), 326-343. link

"Silenced: Gender gap in the 2012 election coverage." (2012). link

supplemental information:

Harris-Perry, Melissa. (2012, March 31). Race, gender and the 2012 presidential elections." link



ideology, ideograph, normalize, political philosophy, political motives/frames, comic v. tragic, representative/liberal/participatory democracy, role of communication in democracy, identification/consubstantiality, 6 reasons democracy demands political philosophy, ideology's 5 functions in a democracy

How is ideology communicated?

4: September 11, 13: the announcement

read for September 11:

MSPI chapter 3

read for September 13: announcement addresses by:

Obama 2012 announcement speech (May 5, 2012)

Romney 2012 announcement speech (june 2, 2011)

Fact check of speech

Myth in American politics


Bush (2/23/04) Interestingly, Bush did not deliver a formal announcement address, which is a break from tradition. It is normal for incumbents to announce late, in order to throw any potential challengers off balance, but no announcement is atypical. However, the Washington Post (March 5, 2004) indicates "a tough partisan speech to GOP governors that amounted to his announcement for reelection" was delivered. The London Times (February 25, 2004) refered to this adress as the "first important speech of his re-election campaign."

Kerry (9/2/03)


surfacing, instrumental rhetoric, consummatory rhetoric, functions of campaigns, stages of political campaigns, rhetorical situation, purpose of announcement speech, rhetorical strategy, liberal, radical, conservative, reactionary, attitudes toward change, presumption, functional approach to political positions


Identify the recurrent stylistic and substantive elements in the announcement address. What do all these speeches have in common?

5: September 18, 20: image creation and the convention

read for September 18:

UW Chapter 4

Rowe, John Carlos. (2009, August). Visualizing Barack Obama. Journal of visual culture, 8(2), 207-11.

MSPI chapter 4

McCain 2008 convention video biography link

Obama 2008 convention video biography link

Gonyea, Don. (2012, July 11). Campaign videos: A time-tested election tactic. NPR. link

read for September 20:

Jordan, Barbara, also available in "Keynote Speech to the Democratic National Convention (July 12, 1976), Contemporary American Voices, Eds. James R. Andrews and David Zarefsky, New York: Longman, 1992. 279-282.

Cuomo, Mario. Keynote address to the Democratic National Convention, July 16, 1984. Public Papers of Governor Cuomo. 680-692.

Richards, Ann 1988 Democratic Convention Keynote address.

Obama, Barack 2004 Democratic Keynote address.

San Antonio, TX, Mayor Julián Castro 2012 Democratic Keynote. VideoTranscript

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie 2012 Republican Keynote. TranscriptVideo

supplemental information:

Bill Clinton speech stuff:

transcript that compares the prepared remarks to what was actually said

Ferriss essay in CHE that analyzes word choice

video or video


Zel Miller 2004 Republican Keynote Address


for a cite with all the convention addresses, go to:

2004 Democratic speeches

2004 Republican speeches

2012 Democratic Convention

2012 Republican Convention



image, homophily, function of conventions, surrogates, benefits of surrogates, elements of a keynote, definition of the situation, identification, legitimacy, pentad, ratios, rhetorical strategies of 4 political positions, dramatistic process, characteristics of rounded statements about motive


Identify the recurrent stylistic and substantive elements in the convention address. What do all these speeches have in common? How are they different?

6: September 25, 27 (Fritch guest lectures): the acceptance speech

read for September 25: Acceptance speeches by

Kerry 2004

Bush 2004

Obama 2008

McCain 2008

Romney 2012: transcriptvideo

Obama 2012: transcriptvideo

Read for Sept. 27:

Ferraro 1984

Palin 2008

Gibson, Katie L., & Heyse, Amy L. (20120, July). "The difference between a Hockey Mom and a Pit Bull”: Sarah Palin's faux maternal persona and performance of hegemonic masculinity at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Communication Quarterly, 58(3), 235-256. link

September 27: watch video

supplemental information:

Clinton 1996

Dole 1996

Obama 2008

  purpose and elements of acceptance address, strategies


7: October 2, 4: political advertising and infotainment


October 3: 8:00-9:30p Presidential debate -- Domestic Policy

University of Denver Jim Lehrer

read for October 2:

UW Chapter 6

The Living Room Candidate is a website of the American Musem of the Moving Image and is wonderful. It includes a collection of campaign ads, going all the way back to the 1952 campaign and up to and including ads from the 2004 campaign. Take a few minutes, and just wander through this site. This is sooooo cool. If you do not have a good sense of how ads have evolved across the years, definitely play around on this site for a while.

Colbert on Citizens United.

Toobin link

Potter link

Citizen's United

Supreme Court Link

read for October 4:

UW chapter 8

Flowers, Arhlene A., & Young, Cory L. (2010, Spring). Pardying Palin: How Tina Fey's visual and verbal impersonations revided a comedy show and impacted the 2008 election. Journal of Visual Literacy, 29(1), 47-67. link

supplemental information:





types and functions of ads, monetary considerations in ad buys, range of media, strategies of ad use (i.e. spurt), digital divide, cyber-publics



8: October 9, 11: the stump speech

October 11: 8:00-9:30p Vice-presidential debate -- Foreign and Domestic Policy

Centre College (KY) Martha Raddatz

October 9: midterm prep and a few advertisements. Come with lots of good substantive questions about the key concepts.

October 11 midterm

incumbency style, challenger style, hybrid style, elements of a stump speech, push polling, sampling, survey construction, types of polls, public, constitute audience,


9: October 16, 18: Debates

October 16: 8:00-9:30p Presidential debate -- Foreign and Domestic Policy Town Hall

Hofstra Univ. (NY) Candy Crowley


For October 16: nothing: Marshall Curry, director of Street Fight, will visit class. The film documents the 2002 race for Mayor of Newark, N.J. between Cory Booker, a 32-year-old Rhodes Scholar/Yale Law School grad, and Sharpe James, the four-term incumbent and undisputed champion of New Jersey politics.

October 16: Screening of Street Fight, Lang Aud, 6:00pm

For October 18: Debates

UW Chapter 9

view clips on the Video link

watch the October 16 debate

KH Jamieson on presidential debates Link

supplemental information:

Debate Bibliography

the debates

supplemental readings:

Silver, Nate. (2012, August 24). Seven ways to evaluate a poll. The New York Times. Retreived from

Bush at the Urban League

Kerry at the Urban League

Bush text Holland, MI, Sept 13, 2004

Kerry text Racine, WV, Sept 6, 2004

link and link to NPR stories on the two stump speeches

For a website with many of the campaign stump speeches, go to



elements of a debate, debate strategy, effects of debates, spin, appearance of rationality

How do debate formats affect the utility of a debate? What is the function of a debate?



October 22: 8:00-9:30p Presidential debate -- Foreign Policy

Lynn Univ. (FL) Bob Schieffer

10: October 23, 25: Media framing of election campaigns


OCTOBER 26: Director Leach will be speaking on the topic of civility in public discourse. His presentation will be at 10 am, October 26 in the Commons Ballroom.

For October 23: Stump speeches

UW Chapter 7

Obama in Waterloo, IA, August 14, 2012 watch text

General Obama stump fact check

Romney in Chillicothe, OH, August 15, 2012 watch text

General Romney stump fact check

For fun: The Daily Show explains stump speeches. link

For October 25:

Nisbet, Matthew C. (2007, December 31). Horce race coverage & the political spectacle. ScienceBlogs. link

Shafer, Jack. (2008, January 24). In praise of horse-race coverage. Slate. link

Iyengar, Shanto, Woo, WIlliam F., & McGrady, Jennifer. (2005, Fall). Looking behind the scenes of political coverage. Nieman Reports. link

Anderson, Karrin Vasby. (2011, Summer). "Rhymes with blunt": Pornification and U.S. political culture. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 14(2), 327-368. link

Dailey, Kate.(2012, Ocotber 17). Big Bird and binders: Election memes explained. BBC News Magazine.



October 25: campaign analysis paper due

horse race metaphor, political culture

Identify the recurrent stylistic and substantive elements in the inaugural address. What do all these speeches have in common? How are they different?

11: October 30 (inaugurals), November 1 (crisis rhetoric):

read for October 30: inaugurals by

Lincoln (March 1, 1861)

Lincoln (March 4, 1865)

Kennedy (January 20, 1961)

Carter (January 22, 1977)

Reagan (January 20, 1981)

Bush (January 20, 2001)

read for November 1: crisis rhetoric by:

Johnson, The American Promise, a.k.a. "We Shall Overcome," (March 15, 1965)

Reagan, The Challenger Explosion (January 28, 1986)

Clinton , The Race Initiative (June 16, 1997)

supplemental information:

Johnson (November 27, 1963)

Nixon (January 24, 1969)

Ford (August 9, 1974)

Bush (January 20, 1989)

Clinton (January 20, 1993)


October 30

  • Megan B.

November 1

  • David P.
  • Ryan S.
generic elements of an inaugural address, investiture, ritual


12: November 6 (ELECTION DAY), 8: war rhetoric and 9/11

read for November 6:

Kennedy on the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 22, 1962)

Johnson on the Gulf of Tonkin (August 4, 1964)video

Nixon on Vietnam (November 3, 1969)

Bush on the Persian Gulf (January 16, 1991)

read for November 8:

Bush on WTC 9:30 am (September 11, 2001)

from Barksdale AFB (September 11, 2001)

"Address to the Nation" (September 11, 2001)

"President's Remarks at the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance" (Septmber 14, 2001)

Bush on Afghanistan (September 20, 2001)



November 6

  • Shawn D.
  • Nic Y.
  • Mike N.

November 8

  • Sean L.
  • Dan M.
generic elements of a war address


13: November 13 (NCA), 15 (NCA):


Constructing public opinion [videorecording] : how politicians and the media misrepresent the public / Media Education Foundation

Beyond good & evil [videorecording] : children, media and violent times / co-produced and directed by Miguel Picker ; co-produced and written by Chyng F. Sun

Street Fight?


Nov 16: video response: emailed to me by 5pm on Nov 16.  


14: November 20, 22: Thanksgiving Break        
15: November 27 (the state of the union), 29 (farewells)

UW chapter 11

state of the union:

Johnson, War on Poverty, (January 8, 1964)

Nixon, A New American Revolution, (January 22, 1971)

Reagan, The New Federalism, (January 26, 1982)

Obama fact check


Eisenhower (January 17, 1961)

Nixon (August 8, 1974)

Carter (January 14, 1981)

Reagan (January 11, 1989)

Clinton (January 18, 2001)

supplemental information:

Clinton, State of the Union, (January 27, 1998)



November 27

  • Sam H.
  • Chris J.


November 29

  • Jow M.
  • Chase A.
generic elements of the state of the union, generic elements of the farewell, cynicism, scandal, campaigning v. policy-making


16: December 4, 6: Political Communication and American Democracy


UW chapter 12

MSPI chapter 5







17: December 11: Final exam period:
3-4:50 p.m. Tuesday, December 11
  Final Exam