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Speech by Hilary Rodham Clinton

On June 13, 1993, Hilary Rodham Clinton addressed the American Medical Association in Chicago, Illinois; the subject of her speech was "Health Care: We Can Make A Difference." Ms. Clinton was speaking to the AMA in two capacities: as Chairperson in charge of the President's Task Force on Health Care - and as the wife of recently elected President William (Bill) Clinton. During his presidential election campaign less than a year earlier, Bill Clinton had pledged to give health care reform one of his top priorities, subsequently assigning his acknowledged chief advisor, Hilary Clinton (Carlson, 1992, 28), the role of researching and formulating a comprehensive reform package his Administration would then present to Congress. Together with the respected former Wall Street analyst Ira Magaziner, Ms. Clinton formed and headed a 500-member task force that spent the first six months of the new Chief Executive's term fulfilling that mandate (Fallows, 1995, 28). This speech to the AMA, the largest organization of doctors in the United States, was one of the first public introductions of the nearly-completed "Clinton Package" that would be unveiled formally to Congress in September of 1993 (Fallows, 1995, 31).

In terms of describing the speech, Ms. Clinton's address follows a pattern of Identification - Demonization - Information - Reassurance - Inspiration. It is a pattern within which anecdote substitutes for statistical analysis, and inspiration takes the place of specifics.

In the matter of Identification, Hilary Clinton's speech begins immediately: she identifies herself (and always, by implication or direct reference, the President) with two specific social welfare programs sponsored by the AMA: Health Access America and Adopt-a-School. This identification - "All of us respond to children" (Clinton, 1993, 580) - allows her to segue into the first Demonization:

When I was growing up, not far from where we are today,......

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