How does Obama keep up his hot streak of speeches? The Daily Beast analyzed his most famous speeches to crack the code behind the President’s rhetoric. Our step-by-step guide for turning even the most divisive debates into an inspiring call for unity.
President Obama has faced his share of tough issues and audiences over the years, but at every turn he’s managed to defuse tension with a well-timed speech. Already he’s receiving rave reviews for this morning’s address in Cairo, Egypt on America’s relationship with the Muslim world. But how does he do it? We analyzed Obama’s most famous speeches to bring you this handy instruction manual.
Step 1. Thanks for having me.
Cairo: “I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning, and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement.” (Egypt)
2004 DNC: “On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express m deep gratitude for the privilege of expressing this convention.” (Democratic National Convention, 7/27/04)
Notre Dame:“To Father Hesburgh, to Notre Dame trustees, to faculty, to family: I am honored to be here today. And I am grateful to all of you for allowing me to be a part of your graduation.” (Notre Dame commencement, 5/17/09)
2. Express shock that someone with your life story could ever stand before such a crowd…
Cairo:“Much has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President.”
2004 DNC:“Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let’s face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin- roof shack.”
Cairo:“But my personal story is not so unique. The dream of opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores—that includes nearly seven million American Muslims in our country today who enjoy incomes and education that are higher than average.”
2004 DNC:“I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.”
Race Speech: “I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.”