Political change

Barack Obama’s “New Hampshire Primary Speech”, also known as his “Yes We Can” speech, is a political speech delivered during the primary elections of 2008, when the speaker was competing against other Democrats to win the nomination of the Democratic Party for the US Presidency.

As a presidential candidate, Obama links his potential election with the idea of change in American society, particularly since he is African-American. This is suggested by the fact that the speaker admits he is the ‘underdog’ and many people didn’t believe he had a chance of winning: “For most of this campaign, we were far behind. We always knew our climb would be steep. But in record numbers, you came out, and you spoke up for change.”

The idea of change is further explored in connection with the fact that more people have decided to vote in these elections than in previous years, and through their vote, they show the political class that they want a change:

There's something happening when Americans who are young in age and in spirit, who've never participated in politics before, turn out in numbers we have never seen because they know in their hearts that this time must be different.

Obama emphasizes this idea through his repetition of the phrase “there’s something happening”. To further promote political change, Obama talks about taking “this country in a fundamentally new direction”.

The speaker does not only talk about change in general abstract terms. He also explores the topic by listing specific issues in the US society that need to change:

“Our new American majority can end the out...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in