Hat tip to The Huffington Post (not one of my favorite websites, tbh) for this graphical representation of the rhetorical content of both the conventions. During the speeches, HuffPo writers meticulously sorted statements made by the speakers into five categories for each convention.
If you go to the HuffPo site, you can hover over the bars and see what kinds of statements exemplified each of the categories.
I think it’s kind of silly to put too much meaning into things like this, but you can kind of see the difference between the two conventions, right? Republicans didn’t really like Mitt Romney all that much, but they sure did hate President Obama. Democrats didn’t attack Romney nearly as much as Republicans attacked Obama, and the Democrats love their president, generating nearly double the positive mentions of Obama as negative mentions of Romney. And while the Democrats didn’t talk about the war in Afghanistan as much as they should have, few Republicans gave any indication they were even aware that we are still a nation at war.
I’d love to see graphs like this for 2008 and 2004. I suspect the graphs may have been mirror images in 2004, a year in which Democrats were seemingly more motivated by disgust with Dubya than love for John Kerry. And lost.