ERIC Number: ED264636
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
A Rhetorical Analysis of the 1984 Bush-Ferraro Vice-Presidential Debate.
Hellweg, Susan A.; Kugler, Drew B.
A rhetorical analysis of the 1984 vice-presidential debate between George Bush and Geraldine Ferraro was conducted to determine argumentation tactics, argumentation flaws, reasoning strategies, and other rhetorical characteristics. The results indicated that the format of the debate allowed for little actual direct confrontation between candidates. In terms of differences in actual rhetorical/argumentative characteristics between the candidates, it appears that Bush employed more direct statements of policy, provided development and explanation more frequently, used support and evidence more frequently, and employed more loaded language than did Ferraro. However, Bush used unfamiliar jargon and ineffective transitions in his messages more frequently, and relied more often on analogies, historical references, and factual illustrations than did Ferraro. Bush used two-sided messages more frequently than his opponent, while Ferraro used the "shotgun blast" technique and attacked her opponent more frequently than did Bush, in the tradition of a challenger role in a debate. The questions given to Bush were more often hostile and leading, while those given to Ferraro were more often hypothetical or speculative. Both candidates relied heavily on talking about the position of the opponent's party ticket and on emotional appeals, primarily focusing on commonly held values. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A