A Neo Aristotelian Analysis Of President Obama 's ' Oval Office Address On Bp Oil Spill & Energy '

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Diana J. Park
Professor Eleanor A. Lockhart
Rhetorical Criticism
2 October 2015
A Neo-Aristotelian Analysis of President Obama’s: Oval Office Address on BP Oil Spill & Energy On June 15, 2010, President Barack Obama formally addresses the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to inform people of his plans to contain the oil spill and the nation 's need for clean energy. The purpose of this paper is to analyze President Obama’s speech on the BP oil spill using Foss’ neo-Aristotelian method of rhetorical criticism, by which I will reconstruct the context of the speech, apply four out of the five canons (excluding the canon of memory), and evaluate the speech’s effect on the intended audience. The first step to reconstructing the context of the speech requires me to provide background information on President Barack Obama. According to, in 2008, Obama became the 44th president, and the United States’ first African American president. It is my opinion that much of Obama’s campaign strategy which focused on “change” as a common theme in his slogans was directed at liberals, African Americans, and young voters. highlights that in his first term of presidency, Obama passed a $787 billion stimulus bill as well as the affordable care act. President Obama has become an influential leader that is known for his liberal values and determination to act on economic and social policies, such as these. Next, I will examine the occasion: the BP oil spill. Writer Kayla
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