Today is election day. Tomorrow begins the big show for me: the 2004 campaign for President of the United States. While I am interested in the rhetoric, propaganda, and spin of politics and journalism in general, my political focus is on the presidency.
In The Rhetorica Network links to the left you will see Presidential Campaign Rhetoric 2004. This is the second installment of an effort that began in the summer of 1999 as Presidential Campaign Rhetoric 2000. I built that site on the sever of the University of Missouri – Kansas City (you’ll find a .pdf archive of that site here). I was finishing my doctorate at the time. I began the site (which included an early blog) as part of an independent study class in presidential campaign politics. To my great surprise, the site quickly became popular–especially with education sites and home-schoolers. The publicity from that site led to three local television appearances as a talking head “expert” on presidential campaign rhetoric. Two newspapers and an online news service interviewed me about campaign advertising and rhetoric.
I began The Rhetorica Network on a new server last March with the intention of making PCR2004 the premier page. But, because there hasn’t been much election 2004 action to speak of, the Rhetorica: Press-Politics Journal quickly became the focus of this site and my efforts. That won’t change. I will, however, begin a concerted effort to rebuild the current PCR page into the top-notch campaign site that it was by the end of the last election. To that end, tomorrow I will debut a new design that will make finding information about the candidates and their speeches easier. And, of course, the site will feature my analyses of campaign speeches as they occur.
This web log will continue to cover press-politics issues in general. I will, however, slowly begin to focus more on presidential politics and the 2004 election.
The campaign for the presidency is one of the great American spectacles–and that is both good and bad. My goal will be to help readers understand the persuasive tactics of the campaign as mediated by the press in the hopes that such understanding leads to better decisions in the voting booth. As I promised in 1999, I will always try to keep my biases in check by openly admitting when I think they intrude on my critiques. I will expect my readers to hold me to that promise.