The Oratory of Newt Gingrich
This chapter argues that Newt Gingrich has been a transformative figure in American politics. From 1979 to 1995, Gingrich’s rise to Speaker of the House brought a new rhetorical style to American politics. He helped define a new form of Republican rhetoric to emphasise the ideological distinctions between his own party and the Democrats. To do this, Gingrich encouraged his fellow Republicans to highlight policy differences between the parties and to characterise Congressional Democrats as fundamentally corrupt after decades in the majority power. Such was his ambition that he sought to portray the Republicans as the sole arbiters of honest politics in the United States.
This chapter explains the role of rhetoric in Gingrich’s rise to power, his fall, and his strong campaign for president in 2012. It uncovers which styles and methods of communication he used to reaffirm Republican politics, particularly in an era of ideological uncertainty following apparent domination of Democratic Party politics.
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