2008 Campaign Frames Term Paper

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Political Framing

In politics, it is advisable to apply a plethora of strategies all geared towards realizing triumph against the rivaling camp. The dominating camp and its rival camp apply various viscosities meant to injure the rivals politically. Most campaigns strategies often seek to trail the weaknesses of the rival and as a result, provide justifiable position to attack the opponents at all times. The frames seem a derivative of these stratagems. Political framing is instrumental since it aids the construction of a phenomenon that either favors the dominating camp or disfavors the opposing camp. This study will attempt to compare and contrast the equivalent frame and emphasis frame as applied in Lesbianism Gay and Bisexual (LGB) political topic. This study will construct vivid examples from past two U.S. general elections in relation to the topic. The section is segmented into two main sections. Sections one provide a background scenario of the Sarah Palin situation, and how it grounded the development of frames, the section will as well provide background research pioneering this research. The second section will provide the basic operation of the two frames, and later compare and contrast the frames in relation to the thesis of this study.



When John McCain (2008 Republican presidential aspirant) named Sarah Palin his presidential running mate, he did not know that skepticism would destroy his political destiny. In particular, framing Sarah Palin had regressive implication in relation to executive and gender politics. In fact, framing came from inside and outside the party. For instance, inside the party, there was debate targeting Sarah Palin as an ordinary citizen who happens to be an outside reformer. Other critics sought support from religion when they argued that Sarah Palin was a faithful fundamentalist. The most dehumanizing frame attempted to affiliate Sarah Palin as "the hockey mom." Although it was evident that the Democrat led all the heat on McCain's campaign, a lot of framing heat came from inside the Republican circles. Technically, Sarah scored poorly on the social arena. This was dangerous to McCain political prosperity. For instance, Sarah's campaign agenda attempted to invite homemaker to make a substantial contribution to the social, economic, and political life by voting in the Republican duo. However, this approach was heavily attacked when critics triggered skepticism in her daughter's unwed pregnancy. After all, their analysis was justifiable ethics should begin at home.


Research has attempted to examine the nature of frames and how they applied to impact to a given political stratagem. However, minimal research has endeavored to compare or contrast the nature of frames as applied in a given political destination. Harvey et al. (2013) presents similar collective research attempting to exemplify the Obama campaign ideology and how both instances of equivalency or emphasis frames were applied. Inversely, Kenski (2010) seconded by Ferraris (2012) aggrandizes the passions associated with political frames and how frames are integral in depicting a given ideological course. Parallel researches seconding these connotations include; Callaghan (2013) and Grant (2004) provide statistical qualitative or quantitative techniques applied to bailing out a given stratagem of frames. This research is further seconded by Box-Steffensmeier (2013) who depicts several incidences in comparing or contrasting the application of framing in the 2012 campaign. Therefore, it is good to note that there is a complex relationship between the two frames, which are going to be covered in this study.

Literature Review

Theoretical connotations

Skepticism is naturally directed by individual, societies, professional organization and divergent groups with the intent to organize perceive and communicate with reality. Research has also established that social construction depicted by politicians or media often becomes an inevitable process during political development. In the definition, Grant et al. (2004, p. 29) defines that the framing is the process by which a communication source defines and construct political issues or public controversy.

Type One: Equivalency frame

Initially, the manner in which phenomenon of framing was defined, it was clear that the framing cases were restricted to a given source of alternative presentations. The decisions in favor of equivalent framing were structurally developed to examine a one-sided ideology. However, researchers have recently realized that the equivalent frame is only possible if there is a decisive comparison between the two rivaling sides. For instance, Romney in 2011 favored the "don't ask, don't tell policy" in relation to LGBT individuals we while Obama seconds that the issue can only be handled at the state level and not at the federal level (Kelly, 2012).

In politics, the cognitive process should be priming, and the politician seconded by his team should realize that some factors are more important than others are. In either case, the individual should embrace an all rounded agenda, one that can withstand any heat including heat from the marginalized group. In this case, equivalency frames are often worded in terms of gains and losses. For instance, in the 2008 political campaign, Scrutiny was specifically directed towards examining McCain military life, and this was interpreted into the nature of politics that McCain processed. It should be understood that as of 2008, Americans wanted a decisive domestic political approach. In any case, the republican driven foreign policy was significantly losing influence. In relation to LGBT issues, Obama prevailed because McCain's camp focused on issues that did not address the interests of the entire American population.

In this regard, the priming hypothesis assumes that individuals embrace the criteria for assessment based on accessibility. To the media and the larger public opinion, the criterion is how quickly and automatically that such a criterion will come to mind. In case the McCain's political strategy was not centered on extending Bush's foreign policy, the equivalent frame methodology could not have prompted identification. In contrast, the equivalent frame directed to Obama automatically favored Obama's team political destiny. Harvey et al. (2013, p. 140) presents Dr. Jeremiah Wright critical sermons and how they were vital in solidifying antiracist counter-framing directed by a rivaling McCain camp. In any case, the convention that the white controlled significant elements of the mainstream media inversely prompted the electorate to vote in Obama on sympathy basis. In fact, the mainstream media framed Obama as a militant black preacher who was only good at demagogy and Africanized in management.

In an analysis, operation within a racial-religious frame blinded many in the mainstream media. While it is common knowledge that racist ideologies are by far large defeated in America, it is appropriate to note that religious framing often proves appealing because of a heavy polarized religious arena. Religion in any case has been a source of integral debates in the last three decades with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) assuming center stage in this.

Type Two: Emphasis frame

This frame is widely applied since there is no decisive justification which and in most cases, information is dispensed on the propaganda basis. However, for framing, emphasis frame is dangerous since it seeks to expose an individual or his/her relative party negatively. Callaghan and Schnell (2013, p. 38) argues that emphasis framing is a strategic game and seeks to outcompete a rival based on his social life. Accordingly, the individual or the party nature of addressing personal life is interpreted on his/her ability of addressing the jurisdiction affairs.

Ideally, emphasis-framing technique is based on the ability of the dominating party to initiate a persuasion methodology seeking to gain influence. As a result, the emphasizing party will apply media tools amongst other tools to achieve substantial results edging out the rival party. For instance, in 2008, Obama edged out McCain on the issue of the rule of law in Guantanamo bay. In any case, McCain was not part of the Bush administration, but a republican aspirant. Therefore, linking McCain to the Guantanamo aspect is largely unfair. Snow (2010, p24) argues that by far large McCain was much suitable to outcompete Obama since he had Obama some issues that marred his image also. For instance, Obama was just a mere Harvard attorney and community organizer from Chicago who had little political experience compared to long serving diplomat like McCain. However, McCain affiliation to the given political machinery (Bush system) was critical enough to edge out McCain from opponents. In fact, a staunch Republican senator Jackson criticized Obama's law theories on impracticability purposes. Jackson held the view that Obama is teaching Kids on LGB and thus, advocating the act as part of their action.

Although Obama dominated McCain on the emphasis frame, in 2012 Mick Romney presented an equal challenge that Obama camp could not have expected. However, Obama sympathizers were quick with intent to justify a given course. Ferraris (2012, p. 68) presents part of the emphasis framing strategies applied by Obama sympathizers. In this extract, part of the gross propaganda film depicts Mr. Romney performing ultra-conservative and the ultimate proof that he is a real Marxist legendary. The ad says "ROMNEY SPEAKS FRENCH." This relegation is developed structurally to disqualify the candidate to hold any significant public office.

In contemporary America, emphasis…[continue]

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