Hillary Clintons "Hard Choices" - politisk og strategisk kommunikation

Amalie Stenfeldt-Jürgensen, Signe Raarup Balle, Maria Klit, Amalie Lindeburg Jørgensen & Klara Nordahl Jakobsen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


In this project we search to study how Hillary Clinton presents herself throughout her memoir Hard Choices. We have chosen to perceive this memoir as strategic, political communication and therefore we have chosen four different theories to create a ground for analysis of the different communicative strategies and rhetorical means, she uses to sustain or recreate the different aspects of her political brand. Our main research questions are the following: In what way does Hillary Clinton use strategic communication in her memoir Hard Choices, and how can the use of strategic communication effect citiziens’ opportunities to make qualified choices concerning political decisions? We have chosen Brian McNair’s theory An Introduction to Political Communication serves to provide an overall understanding of political communication and the strategies politicians use during their campaigns. In addition to McNair we have chosen William Benoits’ Image Restoration Theory to identify the different strategies that Hillary Clinton uses in effort to explain and justify her involvement in former scandals or crises for which she has been held responsible and criticized for by voters and the media. Erving Goffman’s theory The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life serves to understand how Hillary Clinton establishes different performances in order to create certain images, and to identify how she uses elements of her private life in order to create and sustain the brand Hillary. In addition to Goffman’s theory, we present Joshua Meyrowitz and his further development of Goffman’s terms backstage and frontstage. Furthermore, we use The Morality Of Spin - Virtue and vice in political rhetoric and the christian right by Nathaniel J. Klemp to unfold a philosophical discussion about the results of our analysis, in which we reflect on how politicians’ use of communicative strategies and manipulation might just undermine the very foundation of democracy. The results of our analysis has led us to conclude, that Hillary Clinton makes use of multiple communicative strategies as well as rhetorical devices, in order to present herself in certain ways throughout the memoir, which serves to strengthen her different images and overall brand. Furthermore we discuss Nathaniel J. Klemp’s definitions of strategic persuasion and rhetorical manipulation, and the distinction beween them. In extention to this we philosophically discuss how politicians’ use of these strategies can be problematic, and whether citiziens, if unable to distinct the two terms, are able to make qualified choices concerning political decisions.

UddannelserBasis - Humanistisk Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato18 dec. 2014


  • USA
  • Goffman
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Klemp
  • Strategisk overtalelse
  • retorisk manipulation
  • politik
  • Benoit
  • kommunikation
  • McNair