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How Persuasion Impacted Clinton's Career Essay

1420 words - 6 pages

If one has not heard of Bill Clinton, either he/she is very young or likely lives under a rock. William Jefferson Clinton, best known to many as “Bill” served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated in office at the age of 46, Clinton was the third youngest president (John F. Kennedy was the second youngest at 43, while Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest overall at the age of 42). Clinton was the first president to been born after World War II and the first to be born in the baby boomer generation. The baby boomers are the generation of people who were born between the years of 1946 to 1964. At the time of the baby boom, social change was very ...view middle of the document...

Years later, his mother Virginia Dell Cassidy remarried to an auto dealer named Roger Clinton, Sr. William then formally adopted the surname Clinton as a gesture to his stepfather. (Clinton, 2004). According to Clinton’s Autobiography My Life, Clinton wanted to become a public official since the age of 16, and meeting John F. Kennedy and listening to Martin Luther King’s speech I Have a Dream inspired him even more to get into public service.
Clinton first got into public office as Arkansas Attorney General, and then became the Governor of Arkansas in 1978. His term as Governor lasted until December of 1992, when he resigned to become President of the United States. Clinton won the 1992 election against George H.W. Bush as a challenger, ending the over 20 years of Republican rule in office. He then won re-election in 1996 as the incumbent defeating the challenger Bob Dole. The impact of how Clinton won these elections are important, especially 1992 since he was viewed as “the underdog” by many throughout the media and voters alike.
1992 Election
In the 1992 Election, Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot to become the next President of the United States. Some would argue that Clinton did not win the election “because he was the beloved candidate” to the majority of voters or “all that desirable as a national leader” (Mast, p. 43). Rather he won the election due to the faults of the previous president. According to Mast, there were “two Bill Clintons”, one that appeared hopeful and empathetic while the other treated the truth the way “a grafter handles a deck of cards” where he could deal any hand he wanted to deal with. Those two characters would develop and fuse together throughout the year of 1992 (Mast, 2013).
Going further, the Gennifer Flowers scandal was the news story that broke prior to the 1992 Super Bowl. Clinton’s staff would arrange for both Bill and Hilary Clinton to appear right after the Super Bowl on CBS, where the game would also be televised. This would be an example of “direct address” where the Clintons would give the illusion that they are talking to the audience directly and make the rest of us forget that this was mediated and set up well in advance. It was also mediated because this was set up to air directly after the Super Bowl, where the big game generally has a large audience. Therefore, the Clintons would receive a large audience to listen to their side of the story due to the fact their interview with CBS was the lead-out show for the Super Bowl (Mast, 2013).
The interview was a 17 minute version of 60 Minutes where the Clintons sat opposite to reporter Steve Kroft, which would be the proxemic of social/formal distance between the two. The setting of the interview is staged in a “suburban living-room atmosphere” (Mast, p. 50), giving the illusion that the Clintons are like the common folks at home. Throughout the entire conversation, Bill Clinton strategically used Rank’s Model of Persuasion while he...

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