Essay on Obama's First Inaugural Speech

624 Words 3 Pages
Picture this: a cold January day in Washington D.C, the first African American president is about to be inaugurated with a combined audience of over 38 million looking to be inspired.
Ted Sorensen, a former speechwriter for John F. Kennedy, believes “An inaugural address is by definition a defining moment for any new president.” An inaugural address is a stepping stone for each new administration because it creates a first impression; the address marks the time when the president stops trying to win votes and starts taking action. Barack Obama's speech is filled with eloquent language, and it lived up to the expectations of both critics and the public. The speech, as described in the “Think Again” section of the New York Times was
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Barack Obama's powerful diction creates hope for the future of the United States with word choices such as “continue,” “shifted” and “ambitions.” Barack’s shift from informal to formal diction constructs an image of unity through the usage of simple, personal pronouns, such as “we” and “us.” The shifts from informal to formal and back appeal to the emotions of the audience because they feel as if Obama is talking directly to them. His allusions to the Bible are sentimental because when he says "the God given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness" he creates a bond between himself and his audience. His words have a motivating connotation that appeal to both logos and pathos. The way in which Barack Obama presents his ideas allows his audience to have confidence in him and his role as president.
Within his speech, Barack Obama admits that the United States is in the "midst of a crisis" but he believes that it can change, but he also makes it clear that the change cannot happen overnight. Obama's inspirational tone stirs up the nation with phrases such as “dust ourselves off” and “bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions.” Barack Obama's message persuades his audience because the message is believable and delivered by an honest man. In his previous speeches, Obama spoke of race and prejudice, an economic crisis and his hopes and fears with such intelligence that when