In speeches of American politicians there is a greater tendency towards citing personal anecdotal experiences which have influenced the candidate’s ideals or platform. These anecdotes serve to de-formalize the register of the speech and make it almost conversational, lending a more approachable, “human” air to the speaker. This “humanizing” effect is important to American candidates because many of the tenets of that platform stress the importance of smaller-government and family-values. A speaker attempting to sympathize with his audience on matters as personal as family and religion is less likely to be appealing to that audience is his tone is too formal and impersonal.
A special subset of these anecdotes is also employed very frequently by American politicians, “It was Mom, though, who did the lion’s share of raising Lynn, Jane, Scott and me” (Romney, February 2007). Deeply personal, seemingly mundane anecdotes about the speaker’s childhood or daily life are interspersed throughout a speech in order to lend the speaker a “simple” or “common” air,


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