Published: April 20, 2024

Name: Katharine Thulson  
Advisor: Prof. Katherine Arnold-Murray
Class: LING 1000: Language in US Society
Semester: Fall 2023
LURA 2024


In Lauren Boebert’s 2020 video advertisement titled “Lauren Boebert for Congress 30 TV”, her campaign uses linguistic strategies in both spoken and written language to frame herself as an ideal Republican candidate. Boebert attempts to target her prominently working-class district she represents in her explicit appeal to a “principled”, “no nonsense”, “conservative” way of life. 


Figure 1. Screenshot from Lauren Boebert’s 2020 Congressional Campaign Ad

Figure 1. Screenshot from Lauren Boebert’s 2020 Congressional Campaign Ad. (



This ad features footage of Boebert within her erstwhile restaurant, dressed in patriotic colors of red, white, and blue, engaging with diverse members of the community through handshakes, embraces, and seemingly substantive conversations. Concurrently, a compelling musical backdrop enhances the impact of Boebert’s voiceover narration.

Boebert herself voices over the imagery of the commercial, which creates a strong sense of her ownership over the words and stances expressed, which fosters a connection with the potential voters. In Arnold-Murray’s (2021) study of Congressional campaign advertisements, she references that a political candidate may narrate her own advertisement in order “to address concerns about her candidacy head-on” (p. 23). Many politicians choose to remove themselves as much as possible from their advertisements as a mode of self-preservation and to mitigate potential liability, but, as displayed in this ad, Boebert has no problem showcasing herself, her restaurant, and her values to the masses which could be appealing for working-class individuals that value having an authentic connection to the candidates they vote into office.

As a native of the district that she serves, Boebert is a well-known and controversial public figure, in part due to the assertive strategies she has employed in curating her political persona.

The on-screen text in the advertisement functions to bolster the campaign’s assertions, positioning Boebert as the quintessence of GOP ideals. For example, as Boebert’s voiceover states she is “pro-Trump, pro-constitution, pro-guns, pro-life, and pro-energy,” text appears on screen simultaneously stating: “CONSERVATIVE. REPUBLICAN.”, as seen in Figure 2 below. Boebert’s campaign not only articulates her own core beliefs but also contends that these beliefs align with those of the GOP. These claims are contentious, as political stances such as being pro-Trump are not inherently reflective of the GOP’s established core values.


Figure 2. Screenshot from Lauren Boebert’s 2020 Congressional Campaign Ad 

Figure 2. Screenshot from Lauren Boebert’s 2020 Congressional Campaign Ad. (


It’s especially interesting that Boebert’s campaign chose to highlight her support for energy, being that it is a very localized issue. Lippi-Green (2012) argues that “every politician, every public speaker, every individual adjusts style and language to suit their audience and elicit desired reactions” (p. 136). With this example, Boebert’s campaign is catering directly to her voters since there is such a prevalent amount of natural gas in Boebert’s district making up the local economy. It could be argued that Boebert’s campaign is marketing her more specifically as a Colorado Republican since these ideals would not necessarily resonate with conservatives who lean towards the center of the aisle nor those that reside in states whose economies are not as impacted by energy production. However, this is not what the campaign advertisement is claiming; instead, Boebert’s campaign makes a salient local political issue within the larger Republican value system.           

This strategy of adding text on screen anticipates pushback against these stances and functions to preemptively counterargue against critics. For example, as the text displayed on screen in Figure 3 states, “PRINCIPLED. NO-NONSENSE. PATRIOT”, Boebert’s voiceover describes her as, “a conservative, a Republican, a mom and a business owner”, which appeals to aspects of identity such as motherhood to market her as relatable to voters.


Figure 3. Screenshot from Lauren Boebert’s 2020 Congressional Campaign Ad

Figure 3. Screenshot from Lauren Boebert’s 2020 Congressional Campaign Ad. (


This particular strategy shows striking similarities to Sarah Palin’s 2008 vice presidential campaign, as the McCain-Palin campaign worked to frame her as a small-town, working-class American mother (Lippi-Green, 2012, p. 136). This persona seemingly served both candidates well in their bids to represent rural communities in Congress, but that could soon no longer be the case.

This aligns with Arnold-Murray’s (2021) study of similar strategies in Congressional campaign ads, in which she finds that politicians use intertextual strategies to “construct meanings and perceptions of past, present, and future situations that favor themselves/their parties” (p. 17). Through this ad, Boebert’s campaign restricts opportunities for dialogue with her voters. Any potential counterarguments regarding the essence of the GOP are swiftly dismissed by the on-screen text. While the advertisement lacks overt engagement with viewers, it seems aimed at provoking discourse on the fundamental principles that the GOP ought to embrace.

This could hold even more true when taking a deeper delve into the stances Boebert’s campaign supports. Colorado is a state that has constitutional protections for abortion, yet Boebert’s campaign openly expresses her pro-life stance in this advertisement. Openly campaigning against a right protected by the state suggests that Boebert’s 2020 campaign perceived fundamental flaws within the Colorado government. Adopting this position on such a controversial topic could undoubtedly ignite debate about the core values of the GOP, or what the party should represent.

The bold assertions that Boebert is a “CONSERVATIVE. REPUBLICAN.” and “PRINCIPLED. NO-NONSENSE. PATRIOT.” are prominently displayed on the screen at different points in time during the duration of the advertisement, as seen in Figure 1 through 3 above. The use of periods is a stylistic strategy that asserts these characteristics as fact. If the campaign were to have used another kind of punctuation (e.g., commas) or even no punctuation at all, the meanings of the phrases would shift and convey a less assertive message. Through the placement of these phrases, Boebert’s campaign communicates a resolute message that emphasizes her alignment with conservative Republican principles rooted in her adherence to what she perceives to be the core values of the United States.

As American citizens, it is crucial that we pay attention to what is going on in our country politically and cast our votes purposefully. As politicians’ strategies for communicating with voters evolve, so too must our capacity for critical analysis.


Title Image Credit 

  1. Screenshot from Lauren Boebert’s 2020 Congressional Campaign Ad.


  1. Arnold-Murray, K. (2021). Multimodally constructed dialogue in political campaign commercials. Journal of Pragmatics, 173, 15–27.
  2. Luning, E. (2020). Lauren Boebert for Congress 30 TV. Colorado Politics.
  3. Lippi-Green, R. (2012). English with an accent: Language, ideology and discrimination in the United States. Taylor & Francis.
  4. Screenshot from Lauren Boebert’s 2020 Congressional Campaign Ad.