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Campaign Rhetoric

"Boots on the Ground" -- Easy for you to Say!

Kathleen Reardon | Posted 09.17.2016 | Politics
Kathleen Reardon

Words matter. Talking about "boots on the ground" distances sitting politicians from the reality of their decisions -- from who is actually wearing those boots. It sounds tough. "I'll put boots on the ground!" presidential candidates often boast, as if this qualifies them to be commander-in-chief.

The Gloria Borger - Hillary Clinton Watch: Waiting for an Insight

Kathleen Reardon | Posted 07.10.2016 | Politics
Kathleen Reardon

When reporters covering presidential politics employ words they fully know will disparage female candidates -- or when they purport to discern dishonesty by examining candidates' facial expressions -- they are taking journalistic prerogative too far.

Negative Ads vs. Aristotle

Jonathan Haber | Posted 02.12.2013 | Politics
Jonathan Haber

Proving that an argument is invalid (ideally by showing that it ends in a logical contradiction) is one of the most effective ways to destroy an opponent's case.

Why I Like Negative Ads

Jonathan Haber | Posted 02.08.2013 | Media
Jonathan Haber

I actually like negative ads. I know this might seem counterintuitive, given that negative ads suffer from so many shortcomings critical thinking-wise. But negative ads at least present an argument.

Critical Thinking and Prediction

Jonathan Haber | Posted 12.22.2012 | Politics
Jonathan Haber

In order to understand the substance of the prepared responses we are likely to hear tonight, you need to keep in mind the true audience the candidates are appealing to, which includes their own base and undecided voters (especially in swing states), as well as the media.

A Big Stakes Election With Little Sense of Vision

Jerry Lanson | Posted 11.07.2012 | Politics
Jerry Lanson

Americans who looked to Barack Obama's speech for inspiration likely got it, if at all, from the same place he says he gets his -- from his litany of remarkable Americans who have continued to soldier on and succeed against long odds.

A Presidential Candidate Openly Taking Meds? Don't Bet On It

Kaitlin Bell Barnett | Posted 03.19.2012 | Politics
Kaitlin Bell Barnett

Today, we know a lot more about mental illness than we did forty years ago. But given the grueling and brutal demands of modern campaigning, we would be extremely unlikely to embrace a presidential candidate who acknowledged taking drugs for a psychiatric condition.

Sam Stein

Obama Campaign Channels '08 Slogan, Changes To "Change Is" | Sam Stein | Posted 12.01.2011 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- It's been a subtle alteration but an alteration nonetheless. In his past two campaign speeches, President Barack Obama has adopted a con...

Ignore the Negative Ads; Watch How He Treats His Wife

Pam Atherton | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Pam Atherton

There are quick ways to assess the measure of a man, whether he's a date or a guy running for office. Anybody can put on party manners for the camera, but what is he like underneath the show?

Honorary Canadian Jeffrey Feldman on Dirty Campaign Rhetoric And Why He Thinks McCain Lost The Debate (Even If Joe The Plumber Won)

Huffington Post | Rachel Sklar | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media

Feldman is a scholar, author, commentator, teacher, blogger and expert on speeches and messaging -- but in Canada, they know him as one half of CBC Newsworld's team of "American political experts."

Report: Prison-Packing Politics A National Disaster

Lecia Shorter | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Lecia Shorter

The costs of citizen incarceration and prison spending have skyrocketed and recidivism remains high. At last, policymakers are questioning the wisdom of tough-on-crime campaign rhetoric.

Giuliani's Tough Talk On Terror Undercut By His Record As Mayor

The Washington Post | Alec MacGillis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

As he campaigns for president, Giuliani describes the 1993 attack as having been forefront in his mind throughout his mayoralty, saying it was others ...