Obama “A More Perfect Union” In 2008，Romney and Obama were vying to become the “firsts” during the presidential campaign. If Romney succeeded, he would be the first Mormon president. If Obama were elected, he would become the first black president. They strived to create identification with the majority of Americans because of the fact they differed from the majority and perceived to be significant in politics. Barack Obama and his political ideas came in the spotlight first time in with speech to the Democratic National Convention. The immediate exigence that called Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech was a personal crisis ignited by his pastor and friend, Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s remarks on American government playing out in the mass media. Shortly after the 911 attacks, Wright delivered a sermon and compared the 911 terrorist action on American soil with “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”1 He referenced United States’s bombing in Grenada, Panama, Libya,
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Palestinians and South Africa and argued that U.S. government supported the terrorism. In 2003, he stated that the government purposely sent the drugs to infect
AfricanAmericans and lied about wars. He then commented on God and government:
“[American government] wants us to sing ‘God Bless America’. No, no, no, not God Bless
America. God damn Americathat’s in the Biblefor killing innocent people.”2 His radical
Mike Huckabee (2008, April 25) Mike Huckabee on "Hannity & Colmes". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved April 6, 2015, from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/mike_huckabee_on_hannity_colme_1.html 2
(2008, March 21). The full story behind Wright's. Retrieved April 6, 2015, from http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/03/21/thefullstorybehindwright’s“goddamnamerica”sermon/ commence was broadcasted on the radio, television, and the internet. Although Obama distanced himself from this unease, the anger and hostility still grew in the society. Was Obama just another anger man who was not suitable to take a role of president, the highest national symbol of patriotic attachment? How would Obama deal with this controversy and compete with
Romney? This speech is Obama’s response. The speech was delivered on March 18th, 2008, in the middle of the Presidential Election at the
National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The speech touched upon racial history and tensions in America, white privileges and inequality between the whites and blacks.
Obama targeted all Americans as his audience, not narrow in scope, but there are different subgroups African Americans and the whites. In the speech, he sought to educate the American people on the history of race in this country and responded to the attacks regarding his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. He urged the nation to “break a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years”.3 In the speech, Obama paralleled economic and political issues with race problems. He said: “If we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care or education or the need to find good jobs for every American”.4 He delivered purpose as we discussed above at the beginning of the speech: “in order to form a more perfect union.” He then mentioned the 1787 Philadelphia convention to illustrate his
Barack Obama (2008, March 18).
Text of Obama’s speech: A More Perfect Union. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 6, 2015, from