Regarding the political ad "Gator" by Rob Maness, can someone please help me figure out the rhetorical situation and how to analyze the metaphors and break them down and put them back together and explain their rhetorical effect?
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- Rhetorical situation
In the video referenced above, Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel, who was the Tea Party candidate for the office of US Senator from Louisiana, running against incumbent Democrat, Mary Landrieu, speaks against the Affordable Care Act and other "failed policies" of the Obama administration, for which Landrieu voted or complied.
- The metaphors
Maness, who himself wrestles alligators, likens many in Washington DC to the alligators in the Louisiana swamps. He promises that he will be unafraid to "wrestle" the career politicians if he goes to Washington. The metaphor compares challenging these career politicans such as Landrieu to facing down alligators in the swamps of his home state.
Further, Maness explains about his military family and his career in the military, which included working at the Pentagon on 9/11. He alludes to patriotism and how American workers at the Pentagon rallied and helped others after this attack. Then the metaphor that he uses is a comparison between the patriotism of the Pentagon workers and the equal patriotism of American citizens who work in government offices such as Congress.
- The effect
The metaphor of the career politicians such as Mary Landrieu being alligators is certainly a vivid one that conjures the uncaring nature and voracious appetite of these politicos to satisfy their own agendas over the needs of others. Alligators are lone predators, unconcerned with the needs of anyone but themselves, and they are also very destructive; so, too, are career politicians, Maness suggests.
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