A rhetorical analysis of presidential health discourse in Inaugural and State of the Union presentations



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Texas Tech University


The selected theme for this analysis is health care. This agenda item was selected because it has had limited exposure in the State of the Union and Inaugural addresses but it has appeared (however briefly) in the majority of the speeches over time. A more common topic of discussion could have been selected, such as foreign policy, which is regularly discussed and has a large amount of time dedicated to these dialogues in the State of the Union and Inaugural addresses. However, the discussions of health care have thus far avoided the severe polarization of the political parties that has engulfed topics that are more well-known to the public. This polarization can be avoided somewhat by selecting a topical analysis that both political parties support to some extent and thus the themes of the speeches will be analyzed rather than the beliefs of one political party over another. While the political parties do not agree on how health care should be addressed, they both agree this is an area in which change should be made and in which the public is actively interested in because of the impact of the current cost of health care.



Presidents, Medical policy