Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Antonio de Velasco

Committee Member

Sandra Sarkela

Committee Member

Craig Stewart

Committee Member

Janann Sherman


In July of 1995, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first “Talking It Over” column premiered in newspapers across the country and the globe. Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles, which produced and circulated this weekly syndicated column, has archived two hundred and ninety-one columns on their website. Dropped and suspended by many publications throughout its duration, “Talking It Over” was a controversial journalistic endeavor for its author, who was simultaneously accused of writing in a fashion that was “too political” and “not political enough.” Consequently, the existing scholarly appraisals of “Talking It Over” depict this column as being either incidental or a rhetorical failure in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first ladyship. Departing from this view, I seek to address in this dissertation the question of how Hillary Rodham Clinton used her newspaper column as a rhetorical resource for political advocacy from 1995 to 2000. To answer this question, I suggest that “Talking It Over” can be read fruitfully as an autobiographical text which made use of three complimentary rhetorical strategies: personal stories, narratives, and descriptions. Though “Talking It Over” is not an autobiography, I argue that it functions as an autobiographical text due to the various features and strategies employed in the column. I conclude that writing a weekly opinion column is both a record of political advocacy and a form of political advocacy in itself.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.