Comparative Analysis: George Bush and Barack Obama’s Inaugural Addresses

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On January 20, 2005, President George W. Bush was sworn into office for the second time on Capitol Hill, Washington D. C. exactly four years later, on the same date and in the same location, President Barack Obama was sworn into office. Both men gave an inaugural address to the American Nation on the day of each man’s inauguration. Bush and Obama both used a great deal of allusion and rhetoric in the inaugural speeches. While Bush was speaking to a country continuing on in a war, Obama spoke to that same country only years later trying to rebuild from the war.

Both men had different purposes and effectively carried them out. In giving the addresses, George W. Bush and Barack Obama made clear each man’s purpose according to the different audiences, appealed to the emotions of the American citizens, and reflected their own opinions diversely through the use of patriotic and powerful diction. Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, because speaking to different audiences, held separate purposes in giving their inaugural addresses.

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Bush, who gave his second inaugural address in 2005, spoke to the people of the United States regarding his plans for his next four years in office. One of Bush’s biggest plans was to push the ideals of America onto other nations of the world. That is, Bush strongly upheld the founding fathers’ ideas that “no man is fit to be a master and no man deserves to be a slave. ” He believed that these ideas should not only work for his country, but for countries around the world. Bush’s main focus was not on his country, but the well-being of other countries.

This is because Bush was sworn into office amidst a war, a war that he needed to end. American citizens were ready for a leader to end the war, and that is exactly what Bush addressed in his inaugural speech. Barack Obama, on the other hand, spoke to a completely different audience. Although he spoke to the same American citizens Bush had spoken to a mere four years prior, the desires and attention of the constituents had changed. Americans no longer desired to get involved with other national affairs; instead, they wanted the focus to be on themselves and America’s well-being.

Obama gave the people exactly what they wanted by speaking to the voters about his plans to change America for the better. Obama mentions that “The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act. ” He spoke to America about restoring the nation and laying a new foundation for growth. When giving an inaugural address, newly sworn in presidents will often use an appeal to emotion to assure voters the right choice has been made. George W. Bush was no exception when he gave his second inaugural address.

Bush was very accurate in depicting exactly what every American wanted to feel in the year of 2005. As the nation was going to war, Bush gave the citizens a sense of national pride; a sense of patriotism. Bush led the audience to realize the importance of the American honor, and gave each listener the feeling of loyalty and devotion to their nation. For the short while that George Bush spoke, people all over the country suddenly became proud citizens once again. Barrack Obama used the same tactic to make his way into the hearts and minds of his fellow citizens.

Obama, like most presidents giving an inaugural address, appealed to the emotion of his audience. Although he used the same approach as Bush did, Obama did not necessarily appeal to the same emotion. In Obama’s speech, he spoke to the nation about change, giving them a sense of hope. Obama was speaking to a country in need of repair, and this man offered to lead the country through a series of changes in order to repair America’s economy, security, and overall well-being. In Obama’s address, he gave the citizens a temporary feeling that all was going to change, and all would be okay.

In the making of his second inaugural address, George Bush was very intentional in his word choice and had a purpose behind the sort of diction he used. Bush’s main purpose was to inspire a sense of patriotism in the lives of the everyday Americans, and in using words such as “dignity,” “dedication,” and “perspective,” he was able to accomplish just that. Words like these are powerful and can transform the thinking of any listener. George Bush’s patriotic diction did nothing but help win the hearts of his fellow Americans.

Barack Obama, although also intentional with his word choice, used a different kind of diction in his inaugural address. Obama’s separate purpose from Bush made his diction separate from Bush’s also. Obama, appealing more to the day to day common American, spoke with words like “responsibility,” “generation,” and “restoration. ” These types of words fully depict Obama’s purpose; become a responsible nation and restore the parts of the country that have been corrupted, such as economy and security.

Obama spoke to the people of the day, he spoke of making changes now, in this generation, with these citizens. George W. Bush and Barrack Obama’s inaugural addresses were each effective in their own particular ways. Bush was able to clearly state in his second inaugural speech his views on the role of the United States as a global leader to the people in 2005. He was also able to get that message across by filling the hearts of American citizens with national pride and devotion to the country. His patriotic language aided him in getting his opinions across and understood throughout the country.

Obama’s speech, effective in a different way than Bush’s, appealed directly to the needs of his people. Obama became nothing short of a savior to the people of America when he promised them change and a new beginning. This is exactly what Americans needed; someone to step up and lead their nation into a new chapter. Obama spoke to the common people and gave them a hope for a better tomorrow. Separately yet similarly, George Bush and Barack Obama effectively made their purposes clear and proficient to the citizens of the United States of America in each man’s inaugural address.

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