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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Phil Chidester


This study examined and compared the self-presentation and media framing of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama throughout the 2008 Democratic primary cycle. Specifically, five debate transcripts were analyzed through the lens of generic criticism to highlight Clinton and Obama’s patterns of self-presentation and rhetoric in the debates. The three themes that were uncovered were nonverbal patterns, the masculine style of speaking, and the feminine style of speaking. News coverage directly following the debates was also analyzed through the lens of media framing and the patterns that emerged were Hillary Clinton as a frontrunner, comments on masculine traits, and focus on appearance. I then compared the self-presentation of the candidates to how the media framed them and argue that there is a female politician rhetoric genre that was revealed. Ultimately, I argue that the female politician rhetoric genre takes into consideration the different factors that constrain and influence Clinton’s presentation of herself and create a pattern or expectation for her behavior and responses. Specific implications and directions for future research are also discussed.


Imported from ProQuest Kraus_ilstu_0092N_10976.pdf


Page Count


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