"We Have a Longstanding Critical Problem…All Right?": The Promotion of Domestic Crisis in President Obama's Health Care Rhetoric

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Virginia Tech


Shortly after his inauguration in 2009, President Barack Obama set to work on health care reform. Little more than a year later the President signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which achieved a goal of so many previous administrations, into law. In order to encourage the passage of health care reform, Obama promoted a health care crisis in America. This study examines the President's rhetoric surrounding the health care crisis in order to explore the characteristics of a potential sub-genre of presidential discourse—domestic promoted crisis. Textual analysis of the President's remarks on health care revealed five strategies used in order to promote this crisis to the American people and encourage legislation to resolve it. In addition to characteristics, the concept of promotion of crises is discussed.



bully pulpit, health care reform, crisis, Barack Obama, promotion, presidential rhetoric