Anaphora Wins in Chris Christie's Speech

Several rhetorical devices were thrown about at the Republican National Conventional on Tuesday. But the most popular was anaphora in Chris Christie's speech. (Transcript)

As the keynote speaker for the convention, the governor of New York uses repetition at the beginning of his sentences at least four times:


"Proud of my party, proud of my state, and proud of my country."


"I am her son.

"I was her son as I listened to "Darkness on the Edge of Town" with my high school friends on the Jersey Shore. I was her son as I moved into a studio apartment with Mary Pat to start a marriage that is now 26 years old.

"I was her son as I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and as I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade.

"And I am still her son today, as governor, following the rules she taught me: to speak from the heart and to fight for your principles. She never thought you get extra credit for just speaking the truth."


"But tonight, I say: ‘enough.'

"I say, together, let's make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.

"We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.

"We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.

"Tonight, we choose respect over love. We are not afraid. We are taking our country back."


"Tonight, we choose the path that has always defined our nation's history. Tonight, we finally and firmly answer the call that so many generations have had the courage to answer before us.

"Tonight, we stand up for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States."

Christie used metaphors as well:

  • 2:42 - "She was tough as nails and didn't suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn't afford to. She spoke the truth – bluntly, directly and without much varnish."
  • 12:48 - "Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power."

To raucous applause, Ann Romney also used anaphora in her speech Tuesday night (13:20):

"No one will work harder.  No one will care more.  And no one will move
heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better
place to live."


Discussion Starters:

  • What is the value of using rhetorical devices in a speech?
  • What other rhetorical devices can you identify in Christie's speech?