Friday, January 4, 2008

Rhetorical tools reflect 3 Democrats' legal talents

Rhetorical tools reflect 3 Democrats' legal talents

While none of the three candidates typically mention rivals by name, Obama invokes his most directly. His new speech is centered around a methodical accounting of the strongest arguments his opponents have to offer, which Obama then analyzes to expose the weaknesses in their logic.

"You can't at once argue that you're the master of a broken system in Washington and offer yourself as the person to change it," Obama says, loosely translating some of Clinton's campaign statements. "You can't fall in line behind the conventional thinking on issues as profound as war and offer yourself as the leader who is best prepared to chart a new and better course for America."

He read versions of these lines late Friday night at a high-school gym in Muscatine slowly, making them sound like riddles, and his audience chuckled as he went along.

In his speeches, Obama also seeks to refute the charge made by Edwards that he is "not angry or confrontational enough."

"By acknowledging the strengths in the other guy's argument, you're saying, 'I'm willing to look at all sides of an issue fairly,' " Meyer said, in analyzing Obama's comments. "That allows you to establish your character with the audience."

In devoting a large share of his time at the podium to directly challenging opponents' assertions, Obama seems to acknowledge that there is a particular urgency to the mission of persuading the undecided voters he identifies as his targets at the outset of his campaign events.

I feel like Obama makes the strongest argument here. Step one of evaluating someone's beliefs and stances is not "is it right" (Edwards) or "is it safe" (Clinton) but DOES IT MAKE SENSE. Start at the very beginning. If it doesn't even make sense in the first place, the other arguments are automatically utterly irrelevant.

So yeah. Big surprise. The Lincoln-Douglas debater supports the candidate most attached to logic and reason. My bias is huge and awesome to behold.

No comments: