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'Checkers' Speech Analysis

  • Submitted by: NBroadwell
  • on March 18, 2012
  • Category: History
  • Length: 1,220 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "'Checkers' Speech Analysis" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The scandal all started with an accused, sitting senator, and ended with one of the greatest speeches of all time. Senator Richard Millhouse Nixon, also the Vice Presidential candidate for the Republican Party, had allegedly accepted an illegal fund of $18,235 for personal use. When the scandal went public, it was discussed on every TV and radio news station in America and the media was united in its disapproval of the Senators’ actions. The allegations caused a stirring within the Republican Party and created a push to remove Nixon from the ticket for the upcoming presidential election. This serious of an attack on Nixon’s integrity and the ensuing consequences left Nixon no choice but to respond and defend his honor and his opportunity to run for VP of the United States. Nixon, of his own accord, went on a nation-wide television and radio broadcast “to take his case to the American people.” This ‘case’ is known as the Checkers speech and is renowned as one of the greatest speeches of all time.
Nixon dives straight to the subject, and captivates the American people from the beginning with the famous line, “My Fellow Americans, I come before you tonight as a candidate for the Vice Presidency and as a man whose honesty and -- and integrity has been questioned.” Nixon then explains he is here to lay down the bare truth and diffuse any mistrust in him. This introduction reveals the style of Nixon’s speech will be sincere and will focus on his audience’s emotions and attitude towards him. Next, Nixon admits he did in fact accept the $18,000 but follows with a series of rhetorical questions aimed at the viewers. The questions address the morality of what he did and what Americans believe their tax money should be spent on. Nixon then divulges exactly what the fund paid for: printing, mailing, traveling, speeches and air time. All these expenses are explicitly political expenditures. He then charges the audience with: “[should] the taxpayers be required to finance items...

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