This rhetorical criticism paper is on a speech made in 1998 by President William Jefferson Clinton. In this speech, he admits to American priests that he had a relationship with Monica Lewinsky, an intern at the White House, and he had sinned. This paper will explore this speech using the Neo-Aristotelian approach, forming a thesis, analysis, assessment and conclusion.
In 1998, our country saw a President in mass turmoil. President William Jefferson Clinton had been accused of having sexual relations with an intern at the White House shortly before his re-election campaign in 1996. Kenneth Starr, independent counsel in the investigation, delivered a 445-page report on President Clinton to the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 9,1998. The historic report, which was released to the American public, outlined 11 possible grounds for impeachment and contained explicit descriptions of Clinton's sexual encounters with Monica Lewinsky, but no mention of Whitewater. The fairness of conservative Starr's investigation became almost as hotly debated as the fate of Clinton's presidency (CNN).
What Clinton said in his responses to the independent council and their responses ignited the war of the rhetoric between him and the council. From an American perspective, Bill Clinton was not lying and was trying to keep the economy of our country on track. His rhetoric during the scandal usually disseminated through TV or Radio addresses and was often supported by the American people. Yet, how was Clinton's rhetoric viewed from the perspective of the outside world? That is the question that will be addressed in this essay.
Using the Neo-Aristotelian criticism, this paper will examine how persuasive Bill Clinton's rhetoric was for those in the United States and the outside world using his speech presented at the annual White House prayer breakfast on Friday, September 11th, 1998, to an audience of more than 100 ministers, priests and other .