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The Keynote Address

Mario Cuomo delivered his "Keynote Address" at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, California on July 17, 1984. Cuomo was Governor of New York at the time and a leading figure in the Democratic party. The keynote address at a political convention is the primary tone-setting speech delivered to the delegates, and the person selected to make this speech receives considerable attention from the media and has a position in prime television time when delivering the speech. Evidence of this is seen in Cuomo's career, for after giving this address, he was highly touted as a presidential candidate for 1988 and 1992, though he did not choose to run (Hughes no page number--electronic news service). Osborn and Osborn refer to the social benefits of public speaking and could be referring to the sort of speech delivered by Cuomo:

The political system of the United States is built on faith in communication. Without open and responsible communication there can be no freedom of choice, no informed decisions, and no representative lawmaking by elected legislators (Osborn and Osborn 6).

Any single communication may be shaped to elicit one response or another or to alter the direction of public discourse according to some ideological view, and certainly Cuomo's speech has as its intent bolstering certain liberal ideas while at the same time preparing the convention for its task of selecting a standard-bearer for the coming election.

One approach to analyzing a speech is the Burkean pentadic model, with the five basic elements of act, agent, agency, scene, and purpose, serving as guides in discovering motives. Kenneth Burke developed the dramatism approach to unify rhetoric and poetic in a single analytical framework under which statements about motives can be studied and compared in terms of the ways in which they treat the dramatic elements of human relations through the pentad, or five elements of act, scene, agent, a...

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The Keynote Address. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:11, April 21, 2019, from