More than four years ago Barack Obama delivered one of the seminal speeches of this century. "A More Perfect Union" inspired hope, promised change and asked America to hold a mirror to itself. Soaring rhetoric swept him to power, then progressively diminished until it all but disappeared under the weight of unfulfilled promises and murky political shenanigans. Obama's performance in the first Presidential Debate was so awful his supporters were entitled to wonder if he was bothered about a second term.
His victory speech gives you the answer: Obama has his mojo back. The vehicle he used was another cracking rhetorical performance that set out his vision for America. While concilliatory, it was also careful to put a clear distance between him and the GOP right wing he had just defeated.
It is worth having a look at this speech alongside "A More Perfect Union"; they are very similar in terms of structure, content and narrative but could not be more different when it comes to delivery. This was his manifesto, his legacy, and he delivered it with the steel and aggression of a second term President who has a mandate and intends to use it.
There will be no easy path to the challenges Obama faces in this term, but he has signalled with this performance that it's time to deliver for the American people. Oratory alone does not deliver strategy, but it might help effect some bi-partizan thinking in Capitol Hill.
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about the author
Russell Wardrop is our Chief Executive. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.