Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Political Science

Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



Bill Clinton was the United States of America’s (U.S.) 42nd President, and his rhetoric set the tone of U.S. political climate for years following his presidency. Due to the power that a president possesses, a president’s presence and statements are frequently analyzed. It is clear, however, that there is a lack of research completed on presidential rhetoric. Upon this realization, I reflected on my previous areas of research; one of those areas was the first term presidential rhetoric of Clinton. As a result, I decided that a rhetorical analysis of some of the major rhetoric that contributed to Clinton’s first presidential term would greatly benefit scholarly research on presidential rhetoric. This research considers Clinton’s announcement speech where he informed the public that he was running for the democratic nomination for president, speech after receiving the democratic nomination, first Inaugural Address, first State of the Union Address, and speech apologizing for radiation that the U.S. used during the Cold War. When considering each of the speeches, it is important to take into account that Clinton had speechwriters during his first presidential term; I was unable to discover to what extent Clinton was or was not involved in the writing process of his speeches.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Charlotte Elder, M.A.


Business and Corporate Communications | Communication | Organizational Communication | Political Science | Speech and Rhetorical Studies