Throughout the years in the United States, we see the diverse types of speeches that are given by large political figures. The large mass of the American Citizens who were at or watching the Democratic National Convention in 2012 were emotionally affected by Michelle Obama’s remarks. Instead of focusing on the logical side of her knowledge, Michelle greatly talks about the personal life of the Obama family and how they can relate to us. Michelle continuously supports the idea that Barack understands what it is like to be a citizen, because he is one and has been for a long time. Michelle Obama uses emotions, logic and credibility to enhance her ideas that are displayed throughout her speech, these rhetorical devices are widely known as: ethos, pathos and logos. This speech is mainly centered around the idea that Michelle’s husband, Barack Obama, should serve his second term as the US President. Through Michelle’s speech we can see that she uses the rhetorical appeals: credibility, and emotion effectively to win over the citizens to vote for Barack.
In general, Michelle Obama used pathos, or feelings and emotions, as her strongest rhetorical appeal to present her speech to the citizens of the United States at the Democratic National Convention in 2012. All during her speech, she received standing ovations, laughter and emotionally energetic actions from the crowd. Michelle used short, but emotionally effective phrases like “make me proud” and “inspire me” which demonstrate her deep genuine feelings about the citizens that she like them to know (Obama). Another sentence used by Michelle is, “Everyday (people) remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth,” which shows how much the Obamas care about the nation that we live in (Obama). Michelle often referred back to her and Barack’s grandparents and shared that they went through many hard situations, and the country began to sympathize for their family. As she continued, the country began to feel patriotic when she started telling the story of the soldiers who continuously keep fighting for our country, no matter the risk they must take, “I’ve seen it in our men and women in uniform and our proud military families…
in wounded warriors who tell me they’re not just going to walk again, they’re going to run, and they’re going to run marathons” (Obama). Michelle also relates to the average citizens in the United States as she talks about how her family’s “life before moving to Washington was filled with simple joys” (Obama). These simple joys including “Saturdays at soccer games, Sundays at grandma’s house…and a date night for Barack and me was either dinner or a movie,” which are common activities completed by the average citizens (Obama). As Michelle’s speech came to a conclusion, she says that if the US wants a strong and powerful nation for their children and future generations, we need to vote for Obama because he knows what to do. Michelle uses pathos in a very effective way through her speech as she shares struggles that her family and our country go through, and allows anyone who listens to the speech to feel an emotional connection so she can win the votes for Barack Obama. Michelle’s second strongest rhetorical appeal uses through her speech is credibility and trustworthiness, or ethos.
Michelle repeats many times that she is the First Lady and that she has a large credibility factor that enhances why people should listen and pay close attention to what she says. Michelle uses many sophisticated vocabulary, such as “unflinching sacrifice,” and”extraordinary privilege,” and long sentence structure through her speech which adds to her strong appeal of ethos(Obama). When Michelle talks about the many times that she has seen patriotism citizens in our country, it allows us to trust her because we see that she has gone to so many places and done so any things to benefit the country. Through Michelle’s speech we see a strong side of credibility appeal supporting her as she speaks. Michelle Obama uses the rhetorical appeals: pathos and ethos, to prove her point that the United States citizens should vote President Obama for his second term serving as the president. Through Michelle’s speech, she tries to relate to the average American citizen as much as possible to gain the majority of the citizen’s vote. People like to be able to relate to someone who has power over them because it allows them to feel more comfortable.
Although pathos is used greatly during Michelle’s speech, she also presents her strong credibility and shows the citizens that they are able to trust her. Michelle Obama’s Speech as the DNC in 2012 strongly supports the rhetorical appeals as they are used widely in many speeches across the world.