President Reagan, at the time in the beginnings of his second term, had successfully maintained overall a high approval rating with the American people. He had won their trust and respect by being quite relatable to the average citizen (Cannon). He had planned that evening to give his State of the Union address, but instead postponed it. The tragedy that had unfolded just hours earlier demanded his complete attention (Eidenmuller 29).
Out of this massive loss a rhetorical situation (a situation where individuals’ understanding can be altered through messages) had arose ( Zarefsky 12). The American public was in shambles, school children left with more questions than answers, and grieving families were carrying the bulk of it all (Eidenmuller 29). What this ...
... middle of paper ...
...ent would have presented an ineffective speech. This was not an easy task for me, because I am not a Reagan admirer; however I shed my listener bias to finally appreciate the Great Communicator in his element.
Cannon, Lou. “Actor, Governor, President, Icon.” The Washington Post. 6 June 2004. Web. 3 September 2010.
Eidenmuller, Michael E. Great Speeches for Better Speaking: Listen and Learn From America’s Most Memorable Speeches. New York: Mcgraw Hill, 2008. Google Books. Web. 4 September 2010.
“Space: They Slipped the Surly Bonds of Earth to Touch the Face of God.” Time. 10 February 1986. Web. 3 September 2010.
Zarefsky, David. Public Speaking: Strategies for Success. 6th ed. Allyn & Bacon, 2011. Print.
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