AUTHORS’ NOTE: We would like to thank Stephanie Glassburn, Angela Mouton, Bong Hee Park, Gloria Sweida-DeMania, and Sheisha Willis for their helpful suggestions. We also are very appreciative of the thoughtful comments provided by George C. Edwards III and the anonymous reviewers. The article is much improved due to their efforts.
Charismatic Rhetoric in the 2008 Presidential Campaign: Commonalities and Differences
Article first published online: 18 FEB 2013
© 2013 Center for the Study of the Presidency
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 43, Issue 1, pages 101–128, March 2013
How to Cite
Schroedel, J., Bligh, M., Merolla, J. and Gonzalez, R. (2013), Charismatic Rhetoric in the 2008 Presidential Campaign: Commonalities and Differences. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 43: 101–128. doi: 10.1111/psq.12005
- Issue published online: 18 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 18 FEB 2013
For all of the attention given to charisma in media accounts of presidential campaigns, there is surprisingly little systematic research on the use and effect of charismatic rhetoric, even though researchers outside of political science have attempted to deconstruct and analyze the different components of rhetorical speech. We draw from this scholarship to explore the use of different forms of charismatic rhetoric throughout the entire 2008 presidential campaign season. We use DICTION 5.0, a content analysis program designed specifically for political discourse, to explore the use of rhetoric in the campaign. We begin by mapping the prevalence of different types of rhetoric and then move on to examine the impact of partisanship and electoral context (primary vs. general election) on rhetorical choices.