Discussion – exigence and the constraints

Discussion – exigence and the constraints

Now that the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump is past, let’s consider his inaugural address. This unit’s chapter discusses the importance of the rhetorical

situation and how it influences the creation and existence of public discourse.

According to Campbell and Jamieson (2008), inaugurals have certain elements that should be accomplished:

– unifying the audience after the election and constituting it as “the people” who will witness and give legitimacy to the ceremony

– rehearsing shared values

– articulating the political principles that will guide the administration

– demonstrating that the president understands the limits of the office

– urging contemplation (not action), focusing on the present while remembering the past and pointing to the future, and praising the institution of the presidency

For this discussion thread, consider the readings on the rhetorical situation (chapter 8 and additional readings) and the above cited elements Campbell and Jamieson

(2008) consider important for inaugural addresses and watch President Trump’s address from January 20, 2017. Comment on the rhetorical situation by focusing on the

exigence and the constraints, and evaluate how well the speech and the speaker addressed both. Furthermore, look at the elements listed by Campbell and Jamieson and

assess if this latest address fits the genre of Inaugural Addresses.

Be sure to use specific examples from the speech to support your claims. Remember that both exigence and constraints are often influenced by event preceding the actual

public discourse (!). Remember to cite properly any material you use.

Your original post is due February 14, 2017 and your responses are due February 19, 2017.



Campbell, K. K. & Jamieson, K. H. (2008). Presidents creating the presidency: Deeds done in words. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

This paper must be 500 words

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