Exploring Charismatic Leadership: A Comparative Analysis of the Rhetoric of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election

This study examines the charismatic leadership rhetoric of the Democratic Party’s nominee Hillary Clinton and the Republican Party’s nominee Donald Trump during the 2016 election

Noor Ghazal Aswad

2018

Scholarcy highlights

  • This study examines the charismatic leadership rhetoric of the Democratic Party’s nominee Hillary Clinton and the Republican Party’s nominee Donald Trump during the 2016 election
  • DICTION 7.0, content analysis software designed for political discourse, was used to analyze the campaign speeches of both candidates
  • The findings suggest that Donald Trump was significantly more likely to use hyperbolic crisis rhetoric regarding the intolerable nature of the status quo as well as rhetoric emphasizing a shared social identity, the pursuit of a common goal, and tangible outcomes
  • The findings affirm presidential rhetoric as being anchored in political times and question the role of charismatic rhetoric in influencing the appeal, and potential electability, of the candidates during the 2016 presidential election

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