McMillan Speech

Some of us may find this hard to believe that this is an actual political campaign and an actual speech- I know I did- nonetheless, it is a form of public address. The exigence, or an imperfection marked by urgency, is readily identified in the slogan and the party name: “The Rent Is Too Damn High.”  Jimmy McMillan, a candidate for New York Governor, states he is running on the ballot to give a voice to the urban poor in New York City.

Further, he cites the ever-rising cost to rent as the urgency. As ludacris as his antics ( as well as his gloves and ridiculous facial hair) may seem, it is a fitting response. Bitzer qualifies one of the characteristics of the rhetorical situation is the fitting response: a speech, its delivery, must fit its exigence and audience. McMillan has tailored his campaign to his audience: the average citizens of New York. Further, he has linked his slogan to the nation’s current concerns regarding the state of the economy, adding to his credibility as a third-party candidate.

However, McMillan makes quite a few mistakes delivering his speech. One can only imagine what flashed through James Humes’ mind hearing this speech. McMillan speaks unnecessarily quickly, lacks an articulate pronunciation of words, and his inappropriate use of personal information (“As a karate expert, I will not talk about anyone up here because our children can’t afford to live anywhere.”) Instead of eliciting respect from his audience, he is laughed at. This takes away from the seriousness of the topics he wishes to address in office: quality of life in the city and poverty rates.

At any rate, I find this to be a good and comical example of public address. I’m sure we will all hear and see more of Mr. McMillan in his gubernatorial race.


Giana Gregga


3 comments so far

  1. dupublicaddress on

    I definitely agree that the karate expert information was irrelevant to the situation and probably does not further the goal of his speech. While he may have had a fitting response according to Bitzer, when the audience laughs at what was intended to be a serious message, the response does not seem to be”fitting.” -Ali Sehringer

  2. dupublicaddress on

    I don’t think that it entirely undermines the response though. It does temporarily harm his credibility and is just a simply crazy comment, but as to affecting the rightness of fit, he still manages to relate to the audience, consider his constraints, and respond to the exigence of the economy.
    – Giana Gregga

  3. kws221 on

    Sadly, this does not appear to be a joke. I thought it was utter madness. McMillan has a clear agenda “to lower the rent” which is inferred through his reptition of the words “the rent it too damn high,” but I feel that this credibility is lost entirely through the way that he carries himself. As a politician, it is important to show the ability to consider two sides of a story and fight for the side that you believe in, but it appears to me that Mr. McMillan is not a man that can be reasoned with. It was never clear how he intended to bring about change, and doesn’t demonstrate the qualities that are required of our nations leaders. I think this looked more like a man who wanted a large audience to crack some jokes in front of while simultaneously raising awareness about poor economic conditions. – Kevin Schneider

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: