They’re the Same, Only Different: A Literary Analysis of the Differing Appeals of Governors Mitt Romney and Rick Perry

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  Frecker 1 Nicholas Frecker Dr. Erin Dietel-McLaughlin WR 13300 10-7-11 They‟re the Same, Only Different: A Literary Analysis of the Differing Appeals of Governors Mitt Romney and Rick Perry As of 2008 it is obvious that the White House is occupied by whichever candidate dominates the online media. Without it, they have no hope of connecting to the hearts and minds of the people they desire to govern over. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and current Texas Governor Rick Perry are now ba
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  Frecker 1 Nicholas FreckerDr. Erin Dietel-McLaughlinWR 1330010-7-11 They‟re the Same, Only Different : A Literary Analysis of the Differing Appeals of Governors Mitt Romney and Rick PerryAs of 2008 it is obvious that the White House is occupied by whichever candidatedominates the online media. Without it, they have no hope of connecting to the hearts and mindsof the people they desire to govern over. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney andcurrent Texas Governor Rick Perry are now battling it out for this top job, each claiming thatthey are the candidate that truly stands up for and defends American values. They both know that they are each other‟s competition . Each candidate has already used various types of mediain order to get their points across, including commercial-style campaign videos. It is throughthese videos that the two are able to connect with citizens all around the country in an effort togain their vote. Sherry Turkle would agree, saying that these new technologies “have madeconnectivity a commonplace ” (136). These commercials give American citizens a direct viewinto the personalities of these two characters. It allows them to choose which candidate they canmost relate to and agree with on matters pertaining to both this country and every day values.Ironically, however, regardless of the fact that the candidates have the perfect opportunity todifferentiate themselves from each other via this form of media, these videos make thecandidates appear to be very similar in many ways. Despite claiming to offer Americansdifferent qualities, Republican Presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Rick Perry appeal to thesame types of people in very much the same way.  Frecker 2 Mitt Romney‟s campaign video begins with a rapid viewing of the sun rising and settingover the Statue of Liberty, igniting an immediate sense of patriotism in the United States of America. Throughout the video he is speaking the entire time, discussing how America is thegreatest place on Earth and how it is the central hub for innovation and technologicaladvancement. He says that although each of us may come from a different background, we allstill believe in the same great passion for America. Throughout the video, pictures and videosare flashing across the screen. It shows both a small town and a blue sky with puffy clouds,giving the feeling of peace and serenity. The video then shows smiling citizens and a graduationceremony, representing a positive outlook on society and hope for the future. Across the screenflashes farms, cattle ranchers, kids walking around the street, and a marching band. WhileRomney is talking about American innovation, clips of wind turbines and other power sourcesare played, all taking place in peaceful nature-based settings. A statue of Thomas Jefferson isshown while he talks about how great the freedoms and opportunities are in America, followedby the former Massachusetts Governor shaking hands and having a potluck dinner with regularcitizens, giving the viewer a sense of relatability. Mitt Romney‟s video seems to be intended tomake the audience feel calm and at ease. Rick Perry‟s video begins with a showing of empty streets, destroyed signs, a shutdownrailroad car, and a damaged factory. All of these pictures give a sort of desolate impression,compounded by the fact that the clips are in darker, gloomier colors. It then thunders and rains,and President Obama begins to speak. He talks about how the economy is finally beginning to improve, and how his policies have helped America. While he‟s saying this, pictures of clearly economically ravaged neighborhoods continue to fill the screen. There is graffiti in many of the clips, along with “No Help Needed” signs. It just gives a sense of hopelessness to the viewer. A  Frecker 3 rather impactful moment in the first part of the commercial shows the “Obama: Hope” red,white, and blue poster hanging on a wall change from clean and new to old, dirty, and falling to  pieces. This symbolizes Perry‟s campaign‟s belief that as the economy continues to fall, so doesthe President‟s image. After this the video gets very chaotic, showing recurring clips of newsou tlets talking about months in which there was “Zero job growth” and accusing him of being“President Zero.” In this chaotic scene it also gives depressing unemployment and poverty statistics, no doubt designed to instill fear into the viewer. After this chaotic flash of scary statistics occurs, it peaks with the President saying “I‟m just getting started.” All of this occurs in about the first 40 seconds of the commercial. After this peak in intensity, the video then goes on to its “ pro- Perry” portion. It immediately changes to wild mustangs running across the screenwith an American flag waving, typical of what might be seen in the video of any politician fromthe state of Texas. It then shows farms and the Statue of Liberty, along with cattle ranchers and a church. You can see periodically Perry standing at a podium looking pretty powerful. He‟sspreading his message “It‟s time to get America working again.” The video then focuses shortlyon Perry‟s service record in the armed forces, showing him i n a uniform and revealing a flyover. The video ends with an “I believe in America” theme with lots of flags and other clips flashing across the screen very rapidly. Perry fit a lot of clips into his fast-moving commercial.Throughout the two commercials, one word no doubt flashed through the minds of a solidmajority of viewers: patriotism. Both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are attempting to appeal tothe patriotism within potential voters. Between the two videos the American flag appeared 32times in the combined three minutes. The Republican Party has been stereotyped as the party of patriotism, and the excessive use of the American flag is no doubt an attempt to rally the use of this patriotism. The two contenders feel that this form of media is an effective way of   Frecker 4 communicating with their audience. John Suler speaks of those who respond exceptionally tomedia in the form of videos and web pictures as being, “….. „Visualizers‟ who may enjoy the  more symbolic, imagistic, and holistic reasoning that is expressed via the creation of videos and web graphics” . It is through images that many types of people are moved emotionally toward oraway from a cause, because a picture or a video clip can transfer a specific type of feeling thateven tens of thousands of words are unable to do. On top of that, this imagistic form of mediacan transfer that emotion in a matter of moments, which is a necessity for any sort of campaignvideo or commercial. Because American patriotism is often symbolized through the use of things such as the American flag and statues of the founding forefathers, they felt this type of media might really appeal to their intended voters. The very opening scene of Mitt Romney‟s video is of the Statue of Liberty and the sunrising and setting over it. Lady Liberty is often times considered the very basic representation of American freedom, and symbolic of what America stands for. Throughout his commercial theStatue of Liberty appears two other times in order to give viewers a sense of patriotism. TheAmerican flag is another symbolic object that the video revolves around. In the video people areseen waving American flags and smiling or are seen with Old Glory waving silently in thebackground. The American flag has always been a representation of  America‟s fight to defend her freedom, and was a must- have in Romney‟s election video. The former governor also intelligently brought in a picture of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, who was one of the mostinfluential people in the construction of the most powerful nation on Earth. He wrote theDeclaration of Independence, was involved in writing the United States Constitution, was thePresident of the United States, and is widely respected by Americans. With Thomas Jefferson onstage, the former governor emphasizes his love of freedom by saying,
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