Political Rhetoric, Social Media, and American Presidential Campaigns explores how social media influenced presidential campaign rhetoric. The author discusses media use in American presidential campaigns as well as social media campaigns for Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. This book addresses how presidential candidates adapted their rhetorical performances for newspapers, radios, television, and the Internet. Scholars of rhetoric and political communication will find this book particularly useful.
Janet Johnson is lecturer at The University of Texas at Dallas.
Chapter One: Media Use in American Presidential Campaigns
Chapter Two: Brief History of Political Media
Chapter Three: Blogs and Barack Obama’s Rhetoric
Chapter Four: Twitter and Mitt Romney’s Rhetoric
Chapter Five: 2016 Presidential Campaign Narrative
Chapter Six: Hillary Clinton: Cyborg Candidate
Chapter Seven: Donald Trump’s Rhetrickery
Chapter Eight: Conclusion
About the Author
“This book is more than just a reflection on 21st century political campaigns and the role social media has played in it. Because past is prologue, Dr. Janet Johnson situates contemporary campaigning in an historical context. She reminds us about the range of approaches taken in America’s political campaigns, from George Washington’s non-campaign strategy to Abraham Lincoln’s use of the telegraph and “new” media, to the influence of Twitter on the 2016 election of Donald Trump. Johnson deftly examines how President Barack Obama ushered in a new approach to digital campaigning that revolutionized how modern political campaigns are run. With in-depth analysis and the passion only one who loves politics can exude, her chapters explore the rhetorical approaches that social media has influenced regarding political strategy and public opinion. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how social media has shaped the way we think and act in all things politics.”
“Finally, a comprehensive look at the massive changes in politics and political coverage that link Abraham Lincoln to what we see today. This is a must-read for a public clamoring for understanding of the increasingly rapid changes in our political process and journalists learning how technology is changing the ground beneath their feet. Forget the fireside chat, the Kennedy-Nixon debates, and the 2016 race for President that left the media professionals scratching their heads. Dr. Johnson reminds us of how even Abraham Lincoln understood the important roles image and quickly adapting to new communication technology play in successful governing and what is necessary for our regaining of control over a seemingly faltering republic.”
Political Rhetoric, Social Media, and American President Campaigns skillfully unfolds the tale of technology’s impact on U.S. presidential campaigns. From train stops to hashtags, Dr. Janet Johnson guides readers through decades of political communication in a well-researched and approachable style. Rich with example tweets and messaging from recent campaigns, the book analyzes how candidates have (and have not) adapted their rhetoric for the social media landscape. “The goal of an online campaign is to expand the soundbite, so the campaign, not the media, controls the rhetorical situation” (p. 93). Armed with actual messages, Dr. Johnson illustrates her thesis, and gives readers the tools to draw their conclusions. With its fusion of history, politics, and media, Political Rhetoric, Social Media, and American President Campaigns is a great option for courses in media and politics.