Rebecca L. Lychock

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RebeccaL. Lychock

ProfessorRebecca Theim



First2016 Presidential Debate

AtHofstra University in Hempstead, New York around 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM(PT) onMonday,&nbspSeptember 26 our first Presidential Debate took place.Our candidates running for President are Donald Trump for theRepublican Party and Secretary Hillary Clinton for the DemocraticParty. My goal in this paper is to clearly summarize the examplesrequested, and provide enough specifics for my instructor to know Ifully understand the material covered in class.

Trumpand Hillary are very educated individuals who are thoroughly coachedin using argument tools during the debate. However, if you havestudied rhetoric you will be familiar and recognize they areutilizing Aristotle’s three most powerful tools of persuasion:

  • Argument by character, Ethos

  • Argument by logic, Logos

  • Argument by emotion, Pathos

Whenyou are capable of recognizing these tactics it is easier to conductyour analysis and form your opinion which will help a great amountwhen deciding between these two individuals who will be the nextpresident.

Answer1: Trump Pathos Example

Trumpexplained that Clinton publicly communicates, through her website,the strategies of addressing the ISIS terrorist problem (38:45). Heaims at influencing the audience to believe that Clinton does nothave the capacity to guarantee the security of Americans. Theexplanation by Trump did not generate sufficient emotional supportfrom the audience (Jay 118). This is because he did not provide analternative plan for combating ISIS.

Answer2: Clinton Pathos Example

Onthe topic of how she will create more jobs, Secretary Hillary Clintondescribes her father as a hard-working individual and her upbringingto align herself with the viewers and her supporters to show she isjust like you and me. She connects her story with this quote, “Themore we can do for the middle class, the more we can invest in you,your education, your skills, and your future, the better we will beoff, and the better will grow, that’s the economy I want to seeagain” (Youtube11:25).The concept of student debt and the overworked middle classpersonally, makes me think about my struggling experience. Her storyalong with the quote makes an emotional connection to the publicwhich made a very effective example for pathos.

Answer3: Trump Ethos Example

Onthe topic of lowering taxes, Donald Trump was asked about releasinghis income tax statements(53:10). He explained that he hadreleased his financial statement. The financial statement has moreinformation on revenues than the income tax statements. Theexplanation is not convincing enough. This is because Clinton madethe audience believe that Trump has refused to release tax statementsbecause he is hiding information about his sources of revenues andwealth level (59:30). Ethos is illustrated because the audiencebelieved that Trump is dishonest.

Answer4: Clinton Ethos Example

Clintonhas released her tax records. This shows ethos because she convincedthe audience that she is a trustworthy person who will manage thefinancial resources of the United States in an effective andtransparent manner (Jay 115). The effort is successful because theaudience understood that Clinton has contributed to the revenue ofthe United States (1:05:20).

Answer5: Trump Fact-Policy-Value Examples

Trumpcommunicated a fact by indicating that Clinton used a public emailserver to send and receive approximately 33,000 emails (1:9:10). Someof the emails were deleted. Clinton was investigated by the CriminalInvestigation Agency because of the use of public email server.

Answer6: Clinton Fact-Policy-Value Examples

Clintonshows value by communicating the rights of women in the Americansociety. Women should be treated in a fair manner and with respect.At the workplace “equal pay for women`s work” (1:15:37) isimportant because it recognizes the contribution of women inorganization performance (Aaron).

Answer7: Trump Evidence Example

Trumpprovided evidence about improving the employment level in the UnitedStates. He will achieve this goal by giving companies incentives tocontinue operating in the United States. One incentive is by reducingtax expenses to encourage more business investments. “I`ll bereducing taxes tremendously, from 35 percent to 15 percent forcompanies” (14:15) explains the relevance evidence that Trump willuse in enhancing company operation in the United States (Aaron).

Answer8: Clinton Evidence Example

Clintonprovides credible evidence about Trump’s abuse of women. &quotThisis a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs&quot indicateshow Trump degrades women (Aaron). He even referred to one model as“Miss Piggy” (1:12: 25) because she increased in weight (Aaron).

Answer9: Trump Blame-Values-Choice Example

Trumpuses the blame argument to explain how he developed and managed hisbusiness empire. He acquired the initial business capital from hisfather. He explains that “my father gave me a very small loan in1975” (25:10). He used the argument to explain the choice argumentthat he has good financial and business management skills. He willuse the skills to improve the economy of the United States.

Answer10: Clinton Blame-Values-Choice Example

Clintonalso applied the blame argument to explain the success of the Obamaadministration. She served in the administration as the Secretary ofState. She explained that President Obama took office when “we hadthe worst financial crisis, the Great Recession, the worst since the1930s” (Aaron). Clinton used the argument to shift the argument tochoice or present tense. “Now, we have come back from that abyss”(34: 43) because the Obama administration has succeeded in improvingthe economy of the United States (Aaron).


Aaaron,B. “The first Trump-Clinton presidential debate transcript,annotated.” The Washington Post, 2016. Web, 08 September 2016.

Heinrichs,Jay. ThankYou for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us about the Art of Persuasion.New York: Three Rivers Press, 2013.

PBSNews Hour. &quotWatch the Full First 2016 Presidential Debate | PBSNewsHour.&quot YouTube. YouTube, 2016. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.

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