1992–Clinton Acceptance Speech–Melanie Modula
My third piece of campaign rhetoric from the 1992 campaign is Bill Clinton’s Democratic Presidential Nomination Acceptance Address. It took place July of 1992 in New York, New York. Throughout his address, Clinton’s aim is relating to the American people and finding common ground. He accepts his nomination for those who work, pay the taxes, raise the kids and play by the rules. Clinton speaks to the hardworking Americans in the middle and lower class.
“I am a product of that middle class, and when I am President, you will be forgotten no more,” Clinton said.
He praises our foreign accomplishments in recent years. The Cold War victory and collapse of the Soviet Union had made us powerful all over the world. While our reputation on an international level was high, we were not progressing as well at home. “Now that we have changed the world, it’s time to change America,” Clinton said.
Bill Clinton’s address touches on the major domestic issues like the economy, and unemployment. He reaches the people facing these issues by talking to them on a personal level and sharing his story. In the early stages of a campaign, it is important to let the American public know about who the candidate is as a person. Bill Clinton accomplishes that with this speech.
His father died before he was born, leaving his mother to support the family. His mother sacrificed a lot to give Bill the chances and life he deserved and he credits all of strength and courage he has to her.
Clinton touches on his childhood, his mother, his grandparents, his wife and his daughter. Voters can hear candidates discuss the issues time and time again, but the personal stories have a greater affect on their feelings toward the candidate.
A main theme of Clinton’s campaign is changing government. Clinton says, “Frankly, I’m fed up with politicians in Washington lecturing the rest of us about family values. Our families have values but our government doesn’t”
He finds irony in the fact that Republicans preach against big government but have been running that same big government for years.
Clinton stresses he is different from other politicians. He knows the struggle all different families are going through on a daily basis during difficult economic times. One quote in this acceptance address represents this idea.
“And I want to say something to every child in America tonight who is out there trying to grow up without a father or a mother: I know how you feel. You’re special too. You matter to America. And don’t you ever let anybody tell you that you can’t become whatever you want to be. And, if other politicians make you feel like you are not part of their family, come on and be part of ours.”
Hearing Clinton’s speech makes voters feel like the current government does not have the American people’s best interest at heart. The Clinton campaign preaches a desire to change. The audience chants, “no second term” in support of Bill Clinton.
Clinton does not mention President Bush until about halfway through the speech. He wants to focus on himself, his campaign and his principles. He eventually mentions George Bush to make comparisons. The Clinton/Gore campaign will be more environmentally friendly, more focused on equal rights for woman, and a better education system for all children.
In my opinion, the most persuasive and influential part of Clinton’s speech is the conclusion. He talks about the future of our nation through the coming generations.
Let it be our cause to give that child a happy home, a healthy family and a hopeful future. Let it be our cause to see that that child has a chance to live to the fullest of her God-given capacities.