|Author(s)||Saul Albert, Chase Wesley Raymond|
|Title||Conversation analysis at the ‘middle region’ of public life: Greetings and the interactional construction of Donald Trump's political persona|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Greetings, Trump, Handshakes, Multimodality, Openings, Politics, Political broadcasts|
|Journal||Language & Communication|
Politicians' greetings are usually studied for their symbolic significance as media events rather than as interactional practices. This article uses conversation analysis to study the greetings that occur just before the start of a stage-managed White House media event. We first operationalize and illustrate the constellation of co-constructed practices that enable a ‘greeter’ to pivot between multiple ‘greeteds’, and we show how such an activity reconstitutes participants' situated social identities. We then broaden the scope of our inquiry to consider how such interactional practices contribute to Trump's political persona. We conclude by arguing that our approach can illuminate both the communication styles of specific individuals, as well as the generalized methods through which political personae are constructed in and through social interaction.