Textual Analysis

Topics: Barack Obama, United States, Democratic Party Pages: 3 (893 words) Published: December 3, 2014
Sydney Graham
10/13/14
Hess/7
Textual Analysis
Yes He Can!

In 2008, Barack Obama was elected into office and became the 44th President of the United States. Obama’s victory speech, “Election Night Remarks”, was heartfelt and genuine, soaking in determination to change the “immaturity and pettiness that poisoned our politics for so long” (680). He argues that America, as a people, can remake the nation.

Obama strategically starts off the speech by appealing to ethos. He shares with us the grueling campaigning Senator McCain experienced and congratulates him and Governor Palin on all their achievements. This largely appeals to ethos because he is acknowledging the competitor in a respectable, honorable way. By honoring Senator McCain, Obama is establishing his character, displaying that he is a fair competitor and even wishes to work with him in the months ahead. The President then goes on to thank a laundry list of men and women who aided him during the campaign time. He mentions the Vice President, Joe Biden, and shares that he “is a man that campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with” (678). By mentioning Biden and how he spoke for his people, Obama appeals to ethos once more. Obama depicts Biden as a down-to-earth, rustic man, who sheds light on the ideas of his people. By aligning himself with such a trustworthy man, Obama is developing trust between him and the audience, elegantly hinting that he will also listen to our ideas and defend our logic as the leader of this nation.

Chronologically, Obama largely appeals to pathos. In the midst of thanking everyone who helped him achieve this high office, he stops to thank his wife and kids. He introduces America’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama, by referring to her as his best friend and love of his life. Sasha and Malia, the President’s children, are then introduced and thanked for overseeing this as a big time in all their lives. He shares that because they have...
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