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Application Exercise:

He Said, He Said
Rhetoric, as we're sure you know, truly can be an art form, especially in the realm of politics. On May 22, 2009, President Barack Obama and former Vice President Richard B. Cheney delivered what is now known as the "dueling speeches." Both political leaders discussed national security on the same day and provided stark evidence of the philosophical divide between the two men (and, perhaps, political parties) on national security, but also, for us, provided some interesting moments to analyze rhetoric. Now that you have learned more about rhetorical analysis, analyze the strategies utilized by both men to persuade their audience of their position. Below are key segments of the speeches.


SOURCE: | The Washington Post - May 22, 2009

Responding to the attacks of 9/11: 
Obama: "Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions…The decisions that were made, over the last eight years, established an ad hoc legal approach for fighting terrorism that was neither effective nor sustainable, a framework that failed to rely on our legal traditions and time-tested institutions and that failed to use our values as a compass." 
Cheney: "9/11 caused everyone to take a serious second look at threats that had been gathering for a while and enemies whose plans were getting bolder and more sophisticated. Throughout the 90's, America has responded to these attacks, if at all, on an ad hoc basis."