Michelle Obama’ Speech at the Democratic National Convention Rhetorical Essay

December 5, 2021 by Essay Writer


The incumbent President Barrack Obama was seeking re-election as the president of the United States of America for the next four years. He was facing Mitt Romney, a republican candidate, in the November 2012 polls. America’s first lady, Michelle Obama, in her speech at the Democrats National Convention (DNC), told of how her husband was passionate about leading the Americans to eventually achieve the “American dream”.

Michelle’s purpose was to introduce her husband as man who was more concerned about the common citizens’ concerns and who was willing and able to help everyone to realize his/her American dream because he himself had walked that path and knew the hardships and the challenges that each and everyone who seeks to succeed in America goes through.

This speech analysis answers the question of whether Michelle Obama was trying to advocate for her husband selling the real American dream to the audience at the Democratic National Convention or her claims and promises were unrealistic.

Speech analysis

Barrack Obama’s wife, the America’s first lady, gave a speech that showed the world the values that the president held dear. Michelle successfully used her husband’s background as well as hers to convince the congregants that the American dream was real, since her husband and she had walked that path and made it to the White House.

The first lady recounted of the childhood struggles that she and her husband had gone through to achieve what they gained so far. She revealed that only due to the students’ loan, they were able to graduate from the college. By mentioning that fact, she appealed to the majority of the youth facing the same struggle and unsure of their ability to complete college.

She was able to capture the emotions of the audience by stressing that success is not how much money one makes but how many people’s lives one touches. The audience was seen to be totally mesmerized by the success story she told and responded by several applauds and ululations.

The first lady was delivering that speech not only to the Democrats but also to all the Americans who were seeking for a better life. She told of her privilege to travel across the country due to which she met a lot of people who inspired her a lot.

She described the stories of the wounded soldiers willing not only to walk again but also run marathons, young Americans in Afghanistan ready to “do it all again” for America, teachers working without pay just for their love to children, and so on. In doing so, she managed to build her credibility with the audience.

She successfully used emotion as her main convincing force to win the hearts of the audience. She explained the hardships that her husband’s grandparents went through to ensure they would give a better life to their children, thus she again resonated with the American dream. Most of the audience was convinced that she was telling their stories despite the fact that she was the first lady living in the White House.

She insisted and reiterated that her most important title was not the first lady but the mother concerned about the welfare of her children. She was thus able to identify with the thousands of American women who were not the first ladies but mothers in order to make them relate to her story of care and worry about the future of their children.

She presented her husband as a person who after four years in the White House, did not change a little from the man she had married twenty three years ago. She spoke about Barrack Obama as about the one who was caring for the less privileged. She explained that due to the same reason, the president signed the Lilly Ledbetter fair Pay Act, reduced taxes imposed on the working families and improved the economy through having created more jobs.

The first lady also used a tone to give hope to the audience. She used such phrases as “the people I meet inspire me” to create a sense of hope and a spirit of confidence in the America as a nation.

She was able to sell the idea that success comes from hard work and if America realized the much needed change, they would have to co-operate as a nation and work hard to eventually realize the change that they so yearned. Through such figures of speech, she was simply but indirectly asking the Americans to entrust the next four years of the America’s future to her husband since he had the best America’s interests at heart.

Even if many Americans or almost everyone in the world knew the story behind the success of president Barrack Obama through his autobiography or even heresies, they were still willing to listen to the story narrated by Michelle Obama.

Michelle used the opportunity to present the story of her husband with a lot of emotions and facial expressions and managed to make a good number of audience shed tears of hope and joy. She avoided directly discrediting Mitt Romney though a critical analysis shows that she was contrasting two different backgrounds of two different Americans, Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Michelle successfully managed to hide political intentions in her speech until the culmination of her speech when she asked everyone to vote for Barrack Obama who, according to her, had the best of America’s interests at his heart and was determined to improve the welfare of all the Americans.

At the end, she was able to convince majority of the audience that change does not happen overnight, but instead, it is a gradual happening that will eventually be seen and experienced by everyone. She, therefore, asked people to support her husband for the second time so that the Americans could eventually realize and witness what they had overwhelmingly voted for in 2008.


The first lady, in her speech at the Democratic National Convention, was able to present to the Americans and the whole world an image of Barrack Obama as a trusted, caring, hardworking person worth being voted for to stay in the White House for another four year. She succeeded to resonate with majority of the Americans, particularly by mentioning the hard work that made America become a successful nation.

She convincingly proved to the audience that the American dream was still achievable and not only by the democrats but also the republicans and the rest of America. In conclusion, an appeal to the people to vote for Barrack Obama was well presented as it becomes apparent as she won the hearts of many. The core purpose of her speech was to sell her husband’s candidacy but in an attractive and unique package that would appeal to the majority of Americans.

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