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TaylarNelson

ProfessorRhondaJoseph
English1302
February13,2017
NelsonsRhetoricalAnalysis

OOnJanuary20,2015,PresidentBarackObamagaveaspeechtothepeopleof
theUnitedStates.HedeliveredthisspeechfromtheU.S.Capitolin
Washington,D.C.Hestartedhisspeechbybrieflyremindingeveryoneofthe
hardtimestheU.S.hasexperiencedinthelast15years.Hethen,turnedthe
speechtodiscusshowtheU.S.wasturningthepageandbeginningtoheadina
morepositivedirection.Hebegantodescribetherecentaccomplishmentsover
thepastyearsuchasagrowingeconomyandmorejobsforAmericans.
PresidentObamasStateoftheUnionAddresswasgiventocreatehopeforthe
people,provideawarenessforthecurrentstateoftheU.S.andgivedirectionof
wherewegofromhere.Thisspeechwasinformationalandintendedtoaddress
theconcernsoftheAmericanpeople.
ThepurposeofthisspeechwastoinformthepeopleoftheUnitedStateswhat
thecountrywasdealingwith,howwegottothispointandwhattheplanwas
movingforward.Hestartedthespeechbygivingabriefhistoryoftwomajor
issuesthathadaverynegativeimpactonourcountry.Heimmediatelyflipped
thepageandbegantodiscussthepositivesthathadoccurredovertheprevious
year.Inordertokeepthepeoplehappyandtheworldatpeace,itisimportant
todiscussyourplansaspresident.Thatiswhatthepeoplewanttohear.They
wanttoknowhowweasacountryaregrowingandhowPresidentObamaplans
togetusthere.Withthatbeingsaid,thesecondparagraphofhisspeechsetthe
foundationfortheargument.
Inanefforttoaddresstheconcernsofthepeople,PresidentObamafirstdiscussedthepushback
hewasreceivingfromtheRepublicans.Hetalkedabouthowhewouldwinagainstthe
Republicancritics.Hisplanwastomakehispoliciesandideassogreatthatitwouldbetough
forthemtoargueagainsthisplans.HealsoaddressedtheDemocraticsthathefeltwereopposed
tohistradeagreementsandthefactthathemaybeabletomakeadealwiththeRepublicans.
PresidentObamamadeastatementtothedemocratsthathewouldplayoffenseinthecoming
yearsbyvetoinglegislationandfightingagainsteffortstoteardownhisagenda.Thisisallpart
ofthepresidentsplantomoveourcountryforwardandpreparefortheupcomingelections.

Theappealofargumentisthemostimportantpartoftheargument.Howyoupresenttheissue
totheaudiencecanreallyalterhowtheyreacttowhatyou'resaying.Obamausedlogos
throughoutthisargumentbystatingtruefactswhichcausestheaudiencetoconnectwithhim.Its
hardnottobeconnectedwiththespeakerwhoisgivinginformationaboutaserioustopic.It
engagesthelisteners.Anemotionalappealwasusedaswell.WithObamabeingourpresident
there'salreadyanemotionalconnectionbetweentheaudienceandthespeaker.Ifsomeneelse
weretogiveoffthissamespeechIdontfeelasitifwouldvehadthesameaffectonthepeople.

Whenitcomestotheeconomy,thepresidenthasastrongercase.Althoughwagesremain
stagnantandhugenumbersofAmericanshaveleftthelaborforce,jobcreationacceleratedin
2014,unemploymentdeclined,andenergyproductionsurged.Thebudgetdeficitisdown,at
leastfornow.Itisnotastretchtoargue,asMr.Obamadid,thatwearenowfreertowriteour
ownfuturethananynationonearth.Andhedeclared,intermsbothpartiesnowaccept,thatwe
mustchoosebetweeneconomicgrowththatyieldsreturnsonlyforthefewandgrowththatoffers
opportunityandprogresstoeveryonewillingtomaketheeffort.Itwasinlayingouthisscriptfor
thefuturethatthepresidentsailedintopartisanwaters.Herepeatedhiscallsforcostlynew
initiativestoprovideaffordable,highqualitychildcareandtwoyearsoffreecommunitycollege.
Andhisproposaltopayforthemwithhighertaxesonthewealthywillmeetastonewallof
Republicanrejection.

Still,Mr.Obamaurged,thereareoroughttobeareasofpossibleagreement.Twentyfirst
centurybusinesses,hesaid,need21stcenturyinfrastructuremodernports,strongerbridges,
fastertrains,andthefastestinternet.Thiscallsforabipartisaninfrastructureplan.The
difficultyisthattheleadingproposalsforfinancingthisplanrelyonproceedsfromtaxreform,
whichinturnrequirescompromiseandnegotiationacrosspartylines.Onedoubtsthatmany
Republicanswillviewthepresidentsspeechasprovidingthebasisforagreementontaxes.

InabowtohisDemocraticcritics,headmittedthatpasttradedealshaventalwayslived
uptothehype.Butthatdoesntmeanthatwecanjustrefusetoenterintonewones.Ninety
fivepercentoftheworldscustomersliveoutsideourborders,heremindedhislisteners,and
wecantcloseourselvesofffromthoseopportunities.Butskepticismrunssodeepwithinhis
ownpartythatitwillnotbeenoughsimplytorequesttradepromotionauthority.Ifhewantsit,
hewillhavetofightforit,votebyvote.

NodoubtRepublicancriticswillnotetheabsenceofanysuggestionsforstabilizingthe
financesofSocialSecurityandMedicare,reininginthelongtermbudgetdeficit,or
strengtheningthemilitary.Butproposalsonthesefrontswerenottobeexpected.Itisfairerfor
themtocomplainthatMr.Obamafocusedmoreonredistributionthanongrowth,moreon
expandinggovernmentthanonreformingit.