This Major Research Paper analyzes four of President Obama’s addresses or speeches leading up to and during the initial year in his second presidential term by asking two crucial questions that existing literature has overlooked.
Scholars have primarily focused on the rhetorical strategies, themes, and techniques in Obama’s speeches. First, what political, economic, and constitutive stories did Obama include in the four speeches and addresses? I rely upon Abbott’s story definition along with Smith’s explanation of political, economic, and constitutive stories. Second, how did Obama frame these stories? I draw upon Fairhurst and Sarr’s framing techniques: metaphor, contrast, and slogan. From this analysis, it is evident that Obama carefully selects political, economic, and constitutive stories and framing techniques to convey common American experiences, provide a renewed vision for the United States of America, and empower Americans as capable agents to create a better future, ultimately moving forward, which is the slogan of his second presidential campaign.