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A More Perfect Union

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Final Speech Analysis

On March 18, 2008, the then senator, Barack Obama, delivered a speech called "A More Perfect

Union". He delivered this speech near the site of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He used Aristotle's Rhetorics to make his speech persuasive to the

audience. Aristotle's Rhetorics are: Pathos, Ethos, Logos, and Kairos. Pathos represents an

appeal to the audience's emotions. Ethos refers to the trustworthiness or credibility of the

speaker. Logos refers to the the logic of its reasons. Kairos is the right or opportune moment.

Barack Obama's speech is in response to a video clip of his pastor, Reverend Jeremiah

Wright, making racial comments against America and Israel. In his speech, Obama addresses

many topics, such as racial tensions, white privilege, and race and inequality in the United States.

Obama gains ethos by explaining his own background, "I am the son of a black

man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white

grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a

white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was

overseas." The mention of his background or "genetic makeup" help set his claim, since he is

both black and white he is the ideal person to help America make history and unite the nation.

What give Obama more credibility is how he states "My faith in God and my faith in the

American people, that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds , if

we are on the path of a more perfect union." Obama's story about Ashley Baia deals with the

audience's emotions, sympathy, fears, and desires. "Ashley, a campaign worker, her mother got

cancer... and because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her healthcare." This

story helped attract the audience. "She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and

so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than

anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat."

"She did this for a year until her mother got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that

the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in

the country who want and need to help their parents too." This story make the audience feel




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