Bushs Claim to the Presidency

Today’s leading news stories range from sports to overseas affairs, and from these Americans must decide what is important to our nation. Governor George W. Bush tries to make this decision a little easier in his announcement of candidacy on June 12, 1999 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Like most candidates in an election, Bush’s main purpose is to present his ideas to a large audience and convince them that he is the man that can change the presidency. Governor Bush offers his opinion on free trade, our current military power, and drawing a moral line in politics. Bush speaks elegantly to his intended audience, which consists of his loyal supporters and those interested in changing America’s political scene with a “compassionate president.” At the same time he tends to exclude people who haven’t kept up with his agenda or that are not in the market for significant political transformation. Overall, Bush gives sufficient information to back up his claims. Only reading the speech would not indicate this, but exploring his website provides background information and family history, and is all done with a friendly, inviting tone. The effort made by Bush to run and manage this campaign exemplifies a caring and committed candidate and produces an effective rhetorical argument.
Assuming that Mr. Bush wrote this speech, we can explore his persuasive ability by analyzing his speech and the website. Bush appeals strongly to his listener’s sense of value with the claim that freedom is “America’s greatest export.” In the lines that follow he emphasizes that he is interested in the prosperity of America. His appeal is extended when he describes schoolyards as becoming battlefields and alludes to the American ideal of hard work and “dreaming big.” Most people today feel these things have been forgotten and children are being corrupted. Bush’s speech addresses these as values that are important and that should be very relevant in our society. He plans to bring them back; he uses key phrases that should strike you right in the morals. “Yes to family, yes to honesty and work,” Bush exclaims to engage his audience in thought about their moral beliefs and the modifications that he believes should be made in today’s society. Bush demonstrates his belief in strong family ties not only by mentioning them numerous times throughout the speech, but by also designating a web page entirely for his wife and her point of view, and dealing with many issues concerning children. In one comment, Bush emphasizes that he will rely on his own values to make decisions; he is trying to persuade voters by appealing to their sense of responsibility. By doing this, he assumes that his audience favors a man that sticks to his guns. The statement “I won’t use my office to mirror public opinion,” fails to acknowledge voters that value a public stance. This is only a slight drawback of his overall emphasis on the audience’s values. It is likely that Bush is targeting voters with that feel that political candidates should not be a slave to public opinion, but at the same time is trying to express his belief upon those voters with differing views. He becomes very influential as he begins to target emotions, as well as the core values of the citizens of Cedar Rapids.
The emotional magnetism Bush displays throughout the speech is definitely one of his major devices in winning his exploratory argument. Within the first two paragraphs of his speech Bush incorporates the dream of prosperity for our nation. He uses images of “struggling families on the outskirts of poverty” to tie in his goal of bringing everyone hope along with a new president. He wants his audience to feel the compassion that he feels. This also gives him the opportunity to mention enterprise and free trade, which are areas he plans to improve during his term. With every mention of fact, we see him adding an emotional edge. He uses the rhetorical question “Is compassion beneath us?” No one should answer “no,” right? Well Bush hopes not, and he builds upon this assumption to make the point that his political term would be extremely prosperous for the nation. Targeting children is in general an emotional appeal, as well as a strong