Obama uses several anecdotes to describe the problems facing America. He does not describe the problem but rather uses anecdotes from the trenches which add to the appeal of the speech. He uses these stories to expose the problems of healthcare, education, the economy and the war in Iraq. He mentions the Dunkin’ Donuts employee. When he slams outsourcing to foreign countries he does so with a vivid anecdote: “the laid off Maytag factory employee who now competes with his teenager for a $7/hr job at Wal-Mart.” When he talks about the special interest campaign contributions he mentions a $3.01 contribution he received from a lady who tucked it inside a verse of scripture. These stories make the speech sound more personal and reinforce the conversational nature of the speech. It is almost as if your uncle has visited for Sunday dinner and is telling you about the struggles facing some of your old friends in your old neighborhood.
Obama uses the unity word “we” repeatedly throughout the speech. This speech is intended to show that Obama is the leader of the team yet more importantly he is still part of the team. The tone of the speech is that the voters and Obama are the underdogs, and they must stick together to defeat Goliath.
The speech is not laced with many examples of vivid language yet there is a wonderful example in the line where he states “It’s the politics that uses religion as a wedge and patriotism as a bludgeon.”
Obama uses the two worlds approach when comparing the current situation in America with the future potential prosperity that is possible if he is elected. He describes the crumbling schools, the unaffordable healthcare and the poor economy where people can’t pay their mortgages. He then essentially asks “do you want to continue living in this world?” He does this