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Playing to the Press in McKinley's Front Porch Campaign: The Early Weeks of a Nineteenth-Century Pseudo-Event

William D. Harpine
Rhetoric Society Quarterly
Vol. 30, No. 3 (Summer, 2000), pp. 73-90
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3886055
Page Count: 18
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Playing to the Press in McKinley's Front Porch Campaign: The Early Weeks of a Nineteenth-Century Pseudo-Event
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Abstract

In the summer of 1896 William McKinely, Republican candidate for President, remained at home while his opponent, William Jennings Bryan, conducted a vigorous railroad campaign. Nonetheless, McKinley was not idle as he campaigned effectively from his home in Canton, Ohio. This analysis of McKinley's summer campaign speeches establishes, first, that McKinley's Front Porch campaign, even in its earliest weeks, consisted of a series of artificial events staged for the media, and, second, that this feature of the campaign shaped what McKinley said and how he said it, as McKinley created the impression of identification between the voters and himself.

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