Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Caroline Dadas

Committee Member

Jessica Restaino

Committee Member

Melinda Knight


With the entrance of the digital age, the Presidential campaign has begun accommodating the growing trend of new technologies. A campaign can reach an audience in person, on the radio, through the newspaper, on television, and on the Internet. In 2008, President Barack Obama broke the limitations of campaigning by going social, which he continued in his run for reelection in 2012. Obama tapped into the popular social network of Twitter to run a portion his 2012 campaign. By utilizing this new network, Obama’s campaign accessed the multimodal quality of Twitter to benefit their goal of winning the 2012 election against Mitt Romney. The rhetorical devices that the campaign group employed while working within this network balanced all of Twitter’s available functions. Twitter is a growing social network used daily by more and more individuals and affects the way people communicate with each other. Due to Twitter’s influence on the way individuals communicate, as well as rhetoric at large, this paper argues Obama’s 2012 political campaign built on classical rhetorical tools in their Twitter usage with the aim of winning a second term in the Presidential office.

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