Campaign Speech Rhetorical Analysis By Kaleb Robertson

Donald J. Trump

2016-2017 Campaign Speech In Phoenix, Arizona

Speaker: Donald J. Trump

Audience: Republican Voters of Arizona


Trumps main focus in his speech is to address the immense immigration problem at hand. He makes the points that, the media is covering up immigration issues/ ignoring them, immigrants take job and money away from American citizens, and that he is the only candidate capable of "saving" America.

Two Strongest Devices:

Repetition of Flattery

Trump consistently uses words like, "respect", "love", and "great", emphasizing them towards the American people to establish how important the American people are to him, and that what is best for the American people is his number one priority. Especially to make the audience comfortable and happy, to ensure they hear out his ideas, and disapprove of the other candidates.

Logical Appeal

Throughout his speech, Trump is putting forth ideas that appeal to the obvious logical sense of Americans, ideas that logically make perfect sense, and theoretically, fulfill and benefit all American needs, while suppressing illegal immigration.

Two Most Weakening Fallacies:


Multiple times in his speech, Trump gives "facts", and "ideas", without any proof to support them, and if noticed by the audience it could majorly weaken his argument, however, he managed to fill in with enough logical appeal that the listeners did not question him.


Trump often makes over generalizations about the media and immigrants, labeling them both as a whole, terrible and ruining to America. Which is untrue as they are not all, corrupt, or full of bad intent, and you could easily take his comments as offensive if you are in that grey area, or are associated with people in such area.


Overall, Trumps speech was effective, because not only did his positive devices outweigh his fallacies, but he was presenting to an audience that was already, for the majority, on his side, meaning they had for the most part, the same bias views as him, thus making it only a strengthening aspect to his speech to certain people.

Barack H. Obama

2007-2008 Campaign Speech In Chicago, Illinois

Speaker: Barack H. Obama

Audience: Democratic Voters of Illinois


This speech announces Obama's presidential candidacy, and he uses it to give an important background on himself, establishing his credentials, but also establishing himself as a true American citizen, placing responsibility on the American people as a whole, including himself in that, acknowledging all the problems facing America openly, not in a bias manner. Establishing that they can only be overcome by America working together.

Two Strongest Devices:


Obama opens his speech by acknowledging his own childhood and accomplishments, establishing his political presence and knowledge, ensuring he is the man for the job, the only man able to put America back on a good path. Including his religious beliefs, and the importance of Springfield on his life, as forms of flattery affiliated with his own title and background.


Obama uses short stories in order to best connect with his audience, first flattering the audience and establishing his credentials with the short story of his life and accomplishments. Next connecting himself to one of the most important and recognized presidents ever, Abraham Lincoln, through short summaries of his success aligned with Obama's own ideas, creating both logical appeal to the Audience supported by factual evidence, and positive emotional appeal to the audience.

Two Most Weakening Fallacies:


A few minor times throughout his speech, Obama gives ideas or "facts" without actual proof backing them, but in most instances the ideas were not ones that would be questioned by the audience.

Ad Hominem

Obama calls out the destruction caused to America, by wrongful previous political persons, but at times it could be viewed as him hating on other officials who portions of the audience may have different views on.


Overall, Obama's speech was virtually free of errors, and his ability to perfectly and efficiently string together ideas was one reason why he was so influential. I think his ability to establish his own strength, then connect himself to the audience, as "on of them", is amazing, because he filled his Speech with numerous different strengthening devices that supported this one solid idea that had other ideas branching off of it.

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