The 2016 U.S. presidential election highlighted the contentiousness of U.S. politics. As rhetorical scholars invested in establishing common ground in U.S. politics, we analyzed the leadership speeches of Senator Thomas A. Daschle. Daschle is worthy of study because he is the only person in U.S. history to have served as both Senate majority and minority leader. Our research question is: How did Senator Thomas A. Daschle use his leadership speeches to work across the political aisle? This study uses the method of close textual analysis to analyze 23 of Daschle’s leadership speeches. We suggest Daschle offers a model of bipartisanship. Through our rhetorical analysis, we found that Daschle used strategies of bipartisanship and polarization. We conclude with implications, limitations, and areas for future research.



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