Relate President Obama's Second Inauguration Speech to the Book Essay

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President Obama's "Second Inaugural Address:" Rhetorical analysis

Knowing one's audience is a critical component of giving a good speech. When President Obama gave his second inaugural address, although he had been reelected by a significant majority, he knew he was still facing a divided country. To show his respect for patriotic values, he began his speech invoking both God and country yet in a manner that stressed the need for concrete government actions to deal with the nation and the world's problems. "For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they've never been self-executing. That while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by his people here on earth."

Obama addressed his speech to the American public at large, but he also had a clear eye upon his Republican critics, in his use of specific phrases and themes. His first term began with a very conciliatory approach to his political enemies, which many of his critics on his left felt stymied his ability to be an effective leader. Clearly, in his second inaugural address Obama was trying to demonstrate he was not willing to make the same mistakes twice. "Together we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers. Together we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. Together we resolve that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune." Obama turned the common 'Tea Party' rhetoric upside down, suggesting that it is patriotic for the federal government to engage in reasonable actions to preserve the health of the nation and its citizens.

As a president of a major world power, Obama's speech reflected the fact that he was well aware of the extent to which leaders from other nations and peoples of other nations were listening to his words. His immediate audience extended far beyond those who were listening to him in Washington D.C. "We will support democracy…

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Works Cited

Obama, Barack. 'Second Inaugural Address." Full text available 9 Feb 2013:

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-01-21/politics/36473487_1_president-obama-vice-president-biden-free-market/2

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