Oklahoma City Bombing Rhetorical Analysis Bill Clinton

Topics: Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Oklahoma, Rhetoric Pages: 4 (1718 words) Published: February 16, 2014

Oklahoma City Bombing Rhetorical Analysis
The Oklahoma City Bombing would be considered the worst terrorist attack on America prior to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. Just outside of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, on April 19th, 1995 a truck exploded, killing 168 people. 19 of those 168 being children. The explosion caused damage to 300 surrounding buildings. Oklahoma City was going through a tragedy and needed guidance from a leader. Who would be a better option to comfort the families and friends of the lost victim, than the current president of America, Bill Clinton, who had once resided in Oklahoma himself? Oklahoma City needed someone to soothe their pain and give them back their lost hope. Clinton uses rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos to appropriate an empathetic tone to the victims of the bombing. Furthermore, he uses religion to explain that good things will follow for the victims, and that the evil which took place would not go unpunished. Doing so, Clinton got the community of Oklahoma City to regain their lost faith and move on from the tragedy.

Clinton starts the speech by letting the families know he is also in pain because Oklahoma City was once the place he looked to as his home, he had spent part of his life there. He relates to everyone in the crowd by saying, “I have to tell you that Hillary and I also come as parents, as husband and wife, as people who were your neighbors for some of the best years of our lives.” Clinton makes the audience feel comfortable with him because they have something in common, they were both citizens of Oklahoma. This statement uses a very strong ethos appeal, by making the audience feel like they were not just listening to America’s president, but rather a neighbor or friend. Clinton wants the audience to feel like more of a family, because a few people in the audience had just lost family members and he was aiming to make them feel connected with the ones surrounding them....
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