Obama's Oratorical Motif

Senator Barack Obama's New Hampshire concession speech was another example of his default oratorical motif that imitates the speech patterns of Martin Luther King. While imitation is a form of flattery, it can also be a tool of self-promotion.  On January 7, while being interviewed on the FOX News network, CBS correspondent Bob Schieffer said, in a flummoxed tone-of-voice, "Obama is clipping.  He's tapping into something."  The "tapping" is the hammer of Obama's repeated allusions to the language event that was The Speech that focused the civil rights movement; namely, King's "I Have A Dream" speech delivered August 23, 1963.   The "something" into which Obama taps is lingering white guilt over black slavery, particularly among his younger followers, that matches their discontent concerning American politics.  Despite the vagaries that accompany Obama's theme of "Change," it appeals to their...(Read Full Article)

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