Comparative Analysis: George Bush and Barack Obama's Inaugural Addresses

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On January 20, 2005, President George W. Bush was sworn into office for the second time on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. exactly four years later, on the same date and in the same location, President Barack Obama was sworn into office. Both men gave an inaugural address to the American Nation on the day of each man’s inauguration. Bush and Obama both used a great deal of allusion and rhetoric in the inaugural speeches. While Bush was speaking to a country continuing on in a war, Obama spoke to that same country only years later trying to rebuild from the war. Both men had different purposes and effectively carried them out. In giving the addresses, George W. Bush and Barack Obama made clear each man’s purpose according to the different audiences, appealed to the emotions of the American citizens, and reflected their own opinions diversely through the use of patriotic and powerful diction.

Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, because speaking to different audiences, held separate purposes in giving their inaugural addresses. Bush, who gave his second inaugural address in 2005, spoke to the people of the United States regarding his plans for his next four years in office. One of Bush’s biggest plans was to push the ideals of America onto other nations of the world. That is, Bush strongly upheld the founding fathers’ ideas that “no man is fit to be a master and no man deserves to be a slave.” He believed that these ideas should not only work for his country, but for countries around the world. Bush’s main focus was not on his country, but the well-being of other countries. This is because Bush was sworn into office amidst a war, a war that he needed to end. American citizens were ready for a leader to end the war, and that is exactly what Bush addressed in his inaugural speech.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, spoke to a completely different audience. Although he spoke to the same American citizens Bush had spoken to a mere four years prior, the desires and...
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