Intention

Convince the audience to accept his political platform and vote for him

Barack Obama’s main intention with his electoral “Yes We Can” speech in New Hampshire in 2008 was to continue to gain support and encourage the American people to vote for him

To convince the audience to vote for him, Obama first appeals to the power of numbers: “But in record numbers, you came out, and you spoke up for change. And with your voices and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment, in this election, there is something happening in America.”.

By showing the audience that he has the support of many others, he indirectly encourages them to join the other voters: “…nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.”.

Obama also achieves this intention by appealing to people’s feelings as well as by creating ethos: “You, all of you who are here tonight, all who put so much heart and soul and work into this campaign, you can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long political darkness.”.

He portrays his voters and supporters as an empowered majority that wants change. Furthermore, he argues in favor of the power of unity while also explaining his plans for his presidency: “...there is no problem we cannot solve, there is no destiny that we cannot fulfill. Our new American majority can end the outrage of unaffordable, unavailable health care in our time.”.

Each time he mentions a policy he intends to implement, he uses the first-person plural, suggesting that his plans are in accordance with what Americans want.  However, sometimes he also relies on the first person: “An...

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