Topic

Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech focuses on three main topics: hope, change, and responsibility.

While these are the underlying themes of the speech, you should also note that the speaker touches u…

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Change and hope

Barack Obama won the election after eight years of Republican rule, at the start of the 2008 economic crisis, and while the US was involved in two wars. The speaker consequently focuses on themes that are relevant for the audience in these circumstances. The themes of change and hope were also at the core of his electoral campaign, so it made sense to use the occasion to explore them further.

In the speech, change is represented by his election as US president (being a Democrat and an African-American) which should bring hope to …

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Responsibility

Last but not least, the speech is about assuming responsibility, as the main way to achieve change. The theme of responsibility is explored in light of the economic crisis (seen as proof of economic irresponsibility) but also in light of a disappointing political system:

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Str…

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Argumentation

Most of Barack Obama’s 2008 election victory speech is characterized by direct argumentation, the speaker expressing his views and arguments in a straightforward and clear manner. Obama is very explicit about his position and views with regards to domestic and foreign policy: “For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.”; “Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have…

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