Obama's "A More Perfect Union" Speech

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Chris Ryden Ryden 1
Mrs. Wenker
Engl 1310.23
20 Sept, 2012
Perfect Union?
Barrack Obama's speech of "A more Perfect Union" uses rhetoric to describe his personal life and how it correlates to racial problems across the United States to help with his political campaign. A lot of his speech was meant to put certain views into new perspectives, to interest people, such as myself, and possibly, unintentionally, anger others as well. He also writes about topics that have meanings under the surface of the words, some things one must think about to uncover the true meaning of what Obama meant. He also writes about things we as a country have to do to head towards our "Perfect Union". He uses many tools of rhetoric such as: Occasion and exigence, historical and cultural context, Kairos, the rhetor, the audience, and ethical appeal.

Obama first addressed the current period of time, reflecting back to the market crash, the origins of the nation, and other difficulties that tested the courage of our convictions. President Obama said that we are tested at this moment of time, one year after he took office. He said that the worst of the crisis is over, but there is still devastation and stressed that all Americans share the nation's difficulties and should work together to fix them. He finished the opening stanza of his speech by saying that he had never been more hopeful about America's future as he was at that moment. His second key point, after his seven minute motivational opening, was the economy, which he defined as his most urgent issue when he took office. He said that he hated the bank bailout but he said unemployment might be twice as bad if it did not take place. Economic growth was next on his speech agenda. Unemployment benefits have been extended Ryden 2

and twenty-five tax cuts have been put in place. President Obama suggested two million more people would be unemployed without the recovery act money spent by the government during his term, and helped avert further disaster. He also mentioned that jobs must be the number one focus in 2010. He proposed a new small business tax credit for hiring new workers or increasing wages. He then mentioned putting people to work through infrastructure development. President Obama says that tax break shifts will come from companies that outsource, and be provided instead to American employers. President Obama urged the Senate to pass the bill that was passed in the House as the first order of business in the New Year. He also asked for a jobs bill on his desk, "without delay". He said the only way to move to full employment is to address the problems faced, instead of putting the future on hold. He said that he does not accept second place for the United States of America. Health insurance reform was brought up about forty minutes into the speech. President Obama said that it was not good politics to take up health care as a cause, but he believes that the approach he proposes will protect every American, and bring down the deficit over two decades. In terms of the war on terror, President Obama said that all of the troops will be out of Iraq by August of this year. In summation, president Obama hopes to increase jobs in 2010, continue to employ more people, create more clean energy industry, pass health care reform, and improve the economy.

Barrack Obama uses exigence and occasion to persuade his audience with current events within the country. Obama said, "we need to/ come together to solve a set of monumental problems"(378) and meant that this country needed to drop its racial differences and unite to fight big problems such as the wars, terrorism, the poor economy, and poor health care and he does this by using exigence. Obama wrote some things with exigence that had deeper meaning Ryden 3

than what he said. He said, "anger is not always productive"(Obama 382) by which he was talking about the war, Anger fueling it and more...
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