( 1940-), United States representative
E. CLAIRE JERRY AND MICHAEL SPANGLE
Patricia Scott Schroeder, Democrat from the First District of Colorado, is the senior woman on Capitol Hill, having first been elected in 1972. She is perhaps better known nationally for her exploratory run for the presidency in 1987. A 1988 Gallup Poll identified her as one of the six most respected women in the United States (CPS), and "a recent article in Roll Call, the Congressional newspaper, named her as one of the 20 smartest members of Congress" (F).
Recognized for her commitment and expertise with respect to women's issues, family issues, and matters of national defense, she also has a reputation for her rhetoric. Interviewers have described her style as "personal, spontaneous and direct" (F) and filled with "little witticisms" (API). Andrew Mollison, president of the National Press Club, once introduced Scott Schroeder by highlighting her "well-known talent for phrase-turning" (API). She was presented to the American Business Conference as a speaker with "sharp-edged and wellarticulated views" who would give a "characteristically clear, good-humored, and well-informed presentation" (DB). A self-described "outsider" (M) and political "dinosaur" (API), she is fittingly characterized as a blend of "searing wit [which] can vaporize an opponent" and "shrewd, even lethal political savvy" (F), all of which is based on "an awful lot of grounding in the issues" (PI). This essay surveys the rhetoric of Patricia Scott Schroeder, examining her background and then the rhetoric itself.
Patricia Nell Scott was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1940 into a family with a strong tradition of political participation. Her parents discussed politics at the dinner table and believed in teaching their children both the substance of the issues and the techniques for debating them. She remembers being encouraged