â€œAs an African American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood that I wonâ€™t say what he was doing that he said it in his book,â€ he said.
Talk about rhetorical maneuvers – here, Johnson uses one of my favorites, and one of Cicero’s favs, paralipsis, or praeteritio/occultatio, to refer to Obama’s cocaine usage. He also doesn’t finish his sentence (what would ‘we’ think about the Clintons, exactly?) – making for an attack on Obama that is content-free.
Obama is also, perhaps, a user of paralipsis:
“She made an unfortunate remark about Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson,â€ he said. â€œI haven’t remarked on it. And she offended some folks who thought she diminished the role about King and the civil rights movement. The notion that this is our doing is ludicrous.â€
Obama went on to criticize Clinton’s interview, saying that she spent an hour focused on attacking him rather than “telling people about her positive vision for America.”
I love how he says “I haven’t remarked on it,” and then proceeds to do so. I’m not sure if an implied ‘yet’ qualifies as the trope, though it is certainly ironic.