Rhetorical situation

Table of contents


The speaker of the “Crisis of Confidence” speech is Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States. Carter delivers his speech in 1979 from the Oval Office.

From the beginning of the speech, Carter recalls the promises he made to the American people: “I promised you a President who is not isolated from the people, who feels your pain, and who shares your dreams, and who draws his strength and his wisdom from you”. This shows that he wants to remind the audience that he had good intentions even though he failed in keeping his promises. 

Throughout the speech, Carter portrays himself as a President who listens to the nation’s needs: “as President I need your help. So, I decided to reach out and to listen to the voices of America”. The references to the different types of individuals that he quotes, also shows how he is interested in every person’s opinion. 

At one point, Carter also admits to his faults: “I’ve worked hard to put my campaign promises into law, and I have to admit, w...

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