Obama’s Iowa Speech

I’m not endorsing, but Obama’s speech last night after winning the Iowa caucuses was absolutely electrifying, not necessarily for any political positions he took, but because of his ability to sell the “politics of hope” as a campaign theme and his ability to connect “hope” to an even wider narrative about America and about personal identity.

Huckabee’s speech was pretty solid, too, and while I disagree with pretty much every position he holds and sometimes worry that I know more about foreign policy than he does, I now understand the appeal.  Like Obama, he has been able to connect his campaign to a sense of belief (“a new day is needed in American politics”).

I’m planning to do an election theme in my composition classes again, and Obama’s speech in particular might provoke some interesting discussions about the role of rhetoric in political campaigns.

1 Comment »

  1. The Chutry Experiment » Iowa Caucus Narratives Said,

    January 6, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

    […] “propelled by a visceral desire among Americans to feel American again.” I’ve touched on this point to some extent in talking about Obama’s victory speech, pointing out that his description of […]

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