Introduction xvii campaigning. Further, she demonstrates that celebrity endorsements don’t have to be empty proclamations, devoid of civic value, but can—and do— function as sites of civic practices and audience engagement. Chapter 10, “Hope and Fear in a Pandemic: Videostyle in 2020 Presiden- tial Advertising,” analyzes the content of candidate-sponsored television ads to better understand the messaging of the Biden and Trump campaigns and provide insights into the outcome of the election. Author Kelly L. Winfrey provides a thorough examination of the previous research findings on the effects of political advertising, as well as the content of TV ads through the theoretical lens of videostyle. She then reports the findings of a content anal- ysis on the verbal, nonverbal, and production elements of 218 television ads sponsored by presidential candidates Biden and Trump. Her analysis reveals that the candidates employed fundamentally different strategies in their TV ads—some of which may have been informed by the successes and mistakes of the 2016 campaign and some of which were related to the unique context of the 2020 election. The book’s third part—Disrupting Democratic Norms—includes five chapters that consider the early and frequent challenges to the legitimacy of the 2020 election that culminated in the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and the second impeachment of former President Trump. Chapters in this section examine Trump’s disruptive rhetoric—in his acceptance speech, the presidential debates, and on social media—as well as Republicans who “crossed over” to endorse Biden. The effects of the campaign on voters—including racism, sexism, and polarization—are also explored in this section. Chapter 11, “Donald Trump, Emotional Activation, and Authoritarian- ism,” offers a rhetorical analysis by Robert C. Rowland of Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, debate performance, and use of social media on Twitter. He argues that the power (and weakness) of Trump’s rhetoric and its hold over core supporters did not relate to ideology, but rather to emotion. Lacking a coherent ideological perspective, Trump’s rhetoric activated the emotions of his supporters through nationalist appeals related largely to racial identity, grievances against elites and the media, self- presentation as a charismatic outsider, and the use of a colloquial style. Unlike former presidents running for re-election—who often extend the themes of their first campaign, lay out an agenda for a second term, respond to current issues, and attack their opponent—this was the only message Trump had, no matter what the context. In Chapter 12, “Reclaiming the Center: Constitutive Rhetoric and the ‘Moderate Ethos’ in Crossover Endorsements for Joe Biden,” Ryan Neville- Shepard argues that the crossover discourse in 2020 marked a critical redefi- nition of what it means to be politically moderate. The historic number of crossover endorsements constituted a specific kind of moderate politics that
Previous Page Next Page