Location

Greenspun Hall, UNLV

Description

Some first ladies are often condemned for being too involved with the presidents' power in politics and other first ladies find themselves condemned for the lack of involvement. First ladies, it seems, are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Consequently, Michelle Obama faces rhetorical problems, which in some respects are similar to those of previous first ladies, and in other respects are quite different. Along with the criticisms encountered by previous presidential wives, Obama faces the stereotypes African American women have endured since the inception of the nation. Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign serves as a rhetorical attempt to overcome those rhetorical problems. Her speeches from the "Let's Move" campaign exemplify the strategic use of the rhetorical persona to form the image surrounding the archetypal mother and use of identification creates a constitutive audience of American families.

Keywords

African American women; Obama, Michelle, 1964-; Presidents' spouses; Rhetorical criticism; Stereotypes (Social psychology); United States

Disciplines

American Politics | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies

Language

English

 
Apr 23rd, 1:00 PM Apr 23rd, 2:15 PM

Mother Knows Best The Rhetorical Persona of Michelle Obama And The "Let's Move" Campaign

Greenspun Hall, UNLV

Some first ladies are often condemned for being too involved with the presidents' power in politics and other first ladies find themselves condemned for the lack of involvement. First ladies, it seems, are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Consequently, Michelle Obama faces rhetorical problems, which in some respects are similar to those of previous first ladies, and in other respects are quite different. Along with the criticisms encountered by previous presidential wives, Obama faces the stereotypes African American women have endured since the inception of the nation. Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign serves as a rhetorical attempt to overcome those rhetorical problems. Her speeches from the "Let's Move" campaign exemplify the strategic use of the rhetorical persona to form the image surrounding the archetypal mother and use of identification creates a constitutive audience of American families.