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Speach: Obama Acceptance/McCain Concession

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Speach: Obama Acceptance/McCain Concession

Post  Admin on November 5th 2008, 12:54 pm

Both speeches were most impressive and accomplished their purposes. Most of you should know that they were written by professional speech writers and that each candidate had both an acceptance and a concession speech prepared over the last week. They conferred with their writers and made revisions as the week went on.

Please comment on the rhetorical strategies used in these speeches, using the SOAPSTONE strategy.

Speaker
Occasion
Audience
Purpose
Style
Tone

McCain's speech
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/04/mccain.transcript/index.html

I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.

It is natural. It's natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.

We fought -- we fought as hard as we could. And though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours.

I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender.

Section from Obama's Speech:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/04/obama.transcript/index.html

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

"It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

"It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.


Last edited by Admin on December 9th 2008, 1:38 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Obama

Post  Admin on November 5th 2008, 1:09 pm

They call him the president of the future, but his values harken back to the golden age of the American dream.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

The repetition built excitement and the style allowed the audience to repeat “yes we can” along with Obama.


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Re: Speach: Obama Acceptance/McCain Concession

Post  CDuBs on November 5th 2008, 1:22 pm

One thing which I noticed about Barack Obama's speech was the slow pace at which it was delivered, which I appreciated. He choose (along with the help of his hired writing team) to wait until the very end of his speech to incorporate his popular mantra so well-loved by the democratic party; yes we can. I thought this was smart. First of all, it ended a speech which actually included some brutal honesty on a very positive, inspirational note. Also, by saving this until the end of his speech, it added some humility. It would have been easy for Barack Obama, having just become the first African American presidential elect in this nation's history, to act over-zealous, to take advantage of his adoring crowd. I was appreciative of the fact that he did not do this.

John McCain's speech, I thought, was extremely gracious. While disappointment was evident in him, along with his crowd (with whom I was not so impressed), he really gave a wonderful speech full of as much optimism a man in his position could muster. He acknowledged the historical significance in his opponent's success, congratulated not only Senator Obama but the entire African American community. Instead of appearing as a bitter old man scorned, he genuinely appeared to be thankful for the opportunity he received in participating in such an event, and proud of the people of his country, albeit somewhat sad that he would not be the leader he anticipated he would be. I was very impressed.
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Re: Speach: Obama Acceptance/McCain Concession

Post  WKeller on November 5th 2008, 1:30 pm

Both Obama and McCain showed humility during their speeches. They showed that the other candidate was was also well respected and deserved it, even though McCain had to calm some booing coming from his crowd. For Obama's acceptance and McCain's concession, the audience was all of the world, not just America. People in Europe, Asia, and Africa were all waiting to see who would become America's next president because of the changes it would bring the world. If an African-American president were elected it would shatter racial barriers that have stood since America's first settlements. And that was what happened last night, the planet desperate to know the outcome of the Presidential election of 2008.

Both speakers were acknowledging themselves not as individuals, but citizens of the United States of America. Rather than using "I" they used "we" to show the significance of Americans being united, rather than divided amongst themselves.
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Re: Speach: Obama Acceptance/McCain Concession

Post  cWest on November 5th 2008, 1:31 pm

SOAPSTone
Speaker--The speaker in Obama's speech is Obama.
Occasion--The occasion was Obama accepting his role as the future president of the United States of America.
Audience--

TO BE CONTINUED!

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Re: Speach: Obama Acceptance/McCain Concession

Post  kconheady on November 5th 2008, 1:32 pm

OBAMA:
Part of Sarah Palin's appeal to conservative Americans was that she was just like the average person, she was "just like you". This seemed to grab a lot of supporters for her campaign; Obama used the same strategy in his own speech. During his speech he thanks his running mate, thanks his wife, and then makes a promise to his daughters to buy them a new puppy. It was a promise that many parents had made to their own children, reinstating the fact that though Obama had been elected president, he too, is just like the families watching him; he is an American.
Obama accredits the election to the American people, saying that this was "their" election. He continues to speak as he had pre-election, presenting himself as an uplifting speaker and motivator, an agent for change. The speech was not about political parties or winning elections, but about moving forward and creating history.

MCCAIN:
McCain showed extreme respect toward his former opponent: he does not lament the lost election, nor does he ask for others to; instead, he asks that his supporters rally behind Obama as their president, stating that we are all Americans. This amount of respect shown for Obama was astounding, especially because of the amount of bashing that had taken place during his campaign. The crowd seemed to hang on his every word, reacting at everything being said during his speech, but McCain was able to efficiently control them (as seen when a mass started to "boo" Obama). His speech was gracious and graceful, and last night, he earned my respect.


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Obama/McCain speeches

Post  Amelia F. on November 5th 2008, 1:32 pm

Speaker: John McCain, Republican Senator, former presidential candidate.
[u]Occasion:[/u]His concession as a presidential candidate.
Audience:His supporters, and those who helped him along the way. And the American people as a whole.
Purpose:To say that although he himself is not president, he is still an American, and that it is his duty to make sure this country is in good hands and helping any way he can.
Style:There is a lot of talk about moving on, looking into the future. He makes a point to say he will work with the new administration. There is a lot of thanking, making him seem like not an individual, but like part of a team or force that will continue to work.
Tone:This was a very somber speech, but it was also gentle. It is soft, combinding both political and family aspects, showing him as a himself: a man who has just lost the presidency.


Speaker: Barack Obama, president elect.
Occasion:Talking for the first time as president elect.
Audience:His supporters, his loved ones, and his team. And the American people, who he will be looking out for for the next 4 years.
Purpose:To not only say he is here to stay, but to talk about the fact that this is a great moment in history and that everyone, including McCain, has been a part of it. He is saying that we cannot look back, but ahead. That we as a people have been changed, hopefully for the better.
Style:The one thing that really sticks out to me is the way everything flows together in this speech. Everything he talks about flows together perfectly, making him seem calm and level headed, something he needed at this time of excitment.
Tone:He is very happy, but in a subtle way. He knows that he is lucky, and he wants to remind us that we are in for some tough times ahead. There are many insperational concepts in the speech, making everyone feel hopeful.
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Re: Speach: Obama Acceptance/McCain Concession

Post  chiara on November 5th 2008, 1:33 pm

John McCain's concession speech last night was filled with reverence for the American people, respect for Senator Obama and his victory, and optimism for America's future. McCain's speech had all the elements of an "expected" concession speech: the thank yous to family, "campain comrads" and voluteers, and supporters; the congradulations to Sen. Obama, and the message that no matter what we are still fellow Americans and must work together to face our challenges. What stood out to me was that this was a speech neither for Senator McCain nor for his supporters. It was a speech to uplift Americans. He did not lament about his loss or try to diffuse the blame. To the contrary, McCain accepted the sole resposibility for his loss and told about his love for all Americans regardless of whether they supported him of Sen. Obama. McCain conceeded with the upmost humility and proved that he was openminded and pregressive. This speech was very tactful in this respect.

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Re: Speach: Obama Acceptance/McCain Concession

Post  zjohnson2692 on November 5th 2008, 5:35 pm

I thought it was interesting how both of these speeches used very similar elements and techniques to achieve their desired effect. Both echoed the belief that this election has proved that America is truly the land of opportunity that it is so often claimed to be. Furthermore, both (now former) candidates reached out to Senator McCain's supporters, requesting that they now support Barack Obama, trying to appeal to a common American identity. Also, both senators acknowledged the part their own supporters had played in the election--McCain by basically apologizing for his own mistakes in the campaign, and Obama by crediting his supporters with his success. This helped to characterize them as genuine, selfless leaders, who are willing to either take full responsibility for defeat, or share fully in success.

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Re: Speach: Obama Acceptance/McCain Concession

Post  Elizabeth Gombert on November 6th 2008, 12:14 am

Obama's speech was exceptionally well written and his delivery more than did it justice. In his speech Obama spoke of a united nation and his victory as one of the people: "This is your victory." This, I thought was particularly strong because Obama regards the histroy-making occasion of his becoming the first African American president not as a personal accomplishment of his own but a reflection of a changed country where old biases are melting into the past. Obama reinforced his cry for unity with an allusion to President Licoln's first inagural address: "As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection." He also used historical allusion to draw attention to the serious nature of this moment in history. Obama tells the story of major events and triumphs in American history through the story of a 106 year old woman, Ann Nixon Cooper. This choice reminds us that our history, our times of trials and triumphs exist beyond the pages of history books: they exist in the substance of memory. These moments are more than just stories, they are solid proof of what a nation can endure and accomplish. Interwoven with this retelling of major events in American history is the phrase that has become the mantra of Obama's campaign: "Yes we can." Obama reminds us of the pressing nature of the challenges that face us, but he also reminds us that history has shown us that it is possible for a nation to unite, to overcome, and remain strong. We must foster hope, unity, and treat one another as brother and sister. "This is our moment... Yes we can."

John McCain's speech was also well written and well delivered. McCain was gracious and respectful of Obama. McCain also encouraged unity now that the election has been concluded: “I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together...” Both candidates stress that we must work together if we are to conquer the troubles before us. McCain also spoke of the long road America has traveled to reach the point where we could see an African-American elected to the White House by alluding to negative reaction of a country when President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to the White House. I hope that McCain supporters will heed their former candidate's call and avoid sinking back into the familiar grooves of blame, resentment and partisanship and instead strive for a greater sense of unity across the nation. "Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans."

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