Agenda Setting and the Presidential Election

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Charlotte Felchak
August 16, 2012
Professor Tammany
Agenda-Setting and the Presidential Election

The presidential election of 2008 was a historic one for many reasons. This was a year of political turmoil and a true reflection of a country in economic crisis. The media played a significant role by influencing the American voters which decided the outcome of the election. For the Democratic Party, Barack Obama and Joe Biden won the primary election. John McCain and Sarah Palin won the Republican primary election. Many issues were highlighted by the media in this historic election.

John McCain was the senior United States senator from Arizona since 1987 and beat out fellow Republican, Mitt Romney for the presidential nominee. His running mate was the controversial governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. One of the most memorable ploy’s in the republican campaign was “Joe the Plumber”. Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher is an American conservative activist, commentator and politician. During a videotaped campaign stop in Ohio, hosted by Barack Obama, Wurzelbacher questioned Obama about his small business tax policy. Obama replied with this quote, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” John McCain and the Republican Party along with the media used this quote to convince voters that Obama was interested in wealth redistribution and will run the country with a socialist view. The term Socialist caused many voters in several swing states to lean towards McCain’s side. “Joe the Plumber” had many media appearances in 2008. He spoke to Katie Couric of CBS evening news; he held a press conference at his home, appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto on Fox News and finally spoke with Diane Sawyer of Good Morning America. Wurzelbacher publically questioned Obama’s patriotism quoting “There’s too many questions with Barack Obama, and his loyalty to our country”.

Sarah Palin the vice presidential nominee is a self-described “Hockey Mom” and...
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