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Assignment #3

With all the political ads that Americans are bombarded by at this point in a presidential campaign, it takes drastic measures from each candidate to ensure that they capture your attention. Each candidate is different, and therefore each political ad is different as well, tailored to what the candidate wants to emulate. One such example is Mike Huckabee’s series of political ads featuring Chuck Norris. These ads, beginning back in late 2007, clearly appeal to authority in that Chuck Norris has very little authority to be making some of the conclusions that he does.
The ads feature Chuck Norris describing why Mike Huckabee would make the best president of the United States, likening him to Reagan and the elder Bush. Norris, being an actor by trade, and earning much of the money in his later years from the advertisement and sales of fitness equipment, does not seem to have the authority to draw these conclusions. He is entitled to his own opinion, as is everyone else in our country, but he insists that he has made a point of backing Huckabee because he feels that he has “the entire package.”
In the end, using a celebrity to appeal to authority or to create a bandwagon effect is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Americans see this tactic in almost every campaign, large or small. Unfortunately, as much as Chuck Norris may appeal to young people as a result of a string of jokes about him that began years ago, and to those who remember his acting career, he has little more credible authority than someone’s grandmother.

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