Analysis on Clinton’s Rhetoric in Inaugural Address
On January 21st, 1993, Bill Clinton spoke to America on what they could expect of his term as president. In his inaugural address, he motivated a nation using multiple forms of rhetoric. Although later scandal shattered his ethos, during his inaugural address his ethos is strong demonstrated by references to previous presidents and a confident tone. He also exploits a significant amount of logos, referring to the struggles of the people at the time with various things such as communism, the depression, and fascism. His kairos on discussing these issues is excellent, while the matters were still relevant yet not too much of a threat to frighten people. He also employs logic or logos by demonstrating with artistic appeals that he was the correct choice. Clinton’s inaugural address spoke to the people and made them feel confident by using logos, ethos, pathos, and kairos. Ethos is the Greek word for character, and in English means how credible one or how reliable their character is (book). Clinton addresses this issue multiple times throughout his speech. To win the presidential election one must command the trust of many, Clinton restates this fact and thanks the people for electing him (par. 37) saying that they, by voting, have sprung a positive change onto America. He illustrates that the position he is in requires significant ethos to acquire, and therefore he should be trusted. He then further states that he alone is incapable of alone, and will need the help of not only congress, but also the American people to change the nation (par. 38). He has an understanding that the president’s power is limited, and relies heavily on the support of other factions of government (i.e. congress, house of representatives etc…). By reiterating his knowledge of the amount of checks and balances in place and his duty to serve the people, he builds upon his ethos. He also develops his ethos by using various references to...
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