Paige Russell

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Bryan, Ferald Joseph, 1958-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication


Rhetoric; Communication


Hillary Rodham Clinton has led a prolific political career despite intense media scrutiny and a harrowing race for the presidency. There is a lack of research that specifically focuses on Clinton's rhetoric during the campaign and how voters have perceived the truth of her words. This study utilizes the narrative paradigm to understand Clinton's campaign narrative and the double binds she was forced into. The overall goal of the study is to establish these obstacles in four campaign narrative themes. By examining the perceptions of validity within Clinton's rhetoric we seek to determine the gendered impacts of running for President of the United States. Each narrative theme is analyzed through Fisher's narrative paradigm and further subjected to a case specific double bind. Hillary Clinton lost the race for the presidency, but this thesis argues that she didn't lose because of her competency. The findings show that Clinton lost for a variety of reasons, one being an unwillingness on the part of some voters to forgo gendered expectations for a female politician; even though Clinton stretched past the boundaries of what is considered normal, to create a new normal.


Advisors: Ferald Bryan.||Committee members: Jimmie Manning; Kathleen Valde.||Includes bibliographical references.


87 pages




Northern Illinois University

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