ERIC Number: ED299643
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Fall and Fall of Gary Hart.
Rowland, Robert C.
The fall of Gary Hart, brought about because of his indiscretions during the 1988 presidential campaign, should not be treated exclusively as a consequence of Hart's moral failings. Rather, the fall of Hart can be traced to a complex of factors including bad judgment, the near total control that the press exercises over the political agenda, and most important, failed apologia. His apologetic strategies would have been well-adapted to a situation in which a candidate had been accused of some moral failing about which most of the people did not care. In such a situation it would have been smart for him largely to ignore the specifics in his major campaign speeches and instead attempt to rise above the conflict. Here, however, the issue was not adultery, but bad judgment, and Hart's strategies were ill-adapted to such a problem. An analysis of Hart's failed apologia suggests several implications for generic approaches to apologia. First, while a generic treatment of apologia has much to recommend itself, such an approach is always limited by context. Second, while any number of critics focus on the situational basis of rhetorical genres, there clearly are limits on the value of such an approach. Finally, there is danger associated with any set of general critical categories, no matter how valuable those categories may be. (Twenty-two references are appended.) (MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (74th, New Orleans, LA, November 3-6, 1988).