Obama gave a speech about the Jobs bill on September, 8th which had a lot of repercussions. I did not watch it live but the day after the Professors talked about this speech and made some comments about it. Then I watched it on Youtube and I am really impressed of his speech. The Jobs bill seems really interesting. The bill aims to create new jobs and decrease taxes. Obama says that with this Jobs Bill, in the USA the rebuilding will restart again, the schools will be strengthen as buildings and new teachers will be hired. The point that I find really incentivizing is, if small businesses hire new employees or raise the salary of their current employees, they will get a tax cut. I think this could be really simulative for the American Economy. In the USA the majority of people like this bill. Even the Republicans told that they are going to think about on this bill (of course this does not mean that they will pass it.) I share with you a survey made by George Washington University which I found on Center for American Progress. According to this survey 51% of the American People would be agree with the Jobs bill..
Obama gives an example of the tax cut: “If you have 50 employees making an average salary, that’s an $80,000 tax cut. And all businesses will be able to continue writing off the investments they make in 2012.”
Paul Krugman, the famous American economist, writes on New York Times: “I was favorably surprised by the new Obama jobs plan, which is significantly bolder and better than I expected. It’s not nearly as bold as the plan I’d want in an ideal world. But if it actually became law, it would probably make a significant dent in unemployment.”
After saying that I find really interesting this bill, I would like to share with you the language style and image that Obama uses during this speech. I have not watch a lot of Obama Speeches. I am not able to do confrontations between his former speeches but what I saw in this speech is, he is really determined while he is speaking about the Jobs Bill. He repeats a lot of time, in fact too much times words like “Pass this Bill, right now.” Maybe because he thinks that people can get used to the idea of the Jobs Bill if he keeps repeating.
One of interesting parts from the speech is: “… But the millions of Americans who are watching right now, they don’t care about politics. They have real-life concerns. Many have spent months looking for work. Others are doing their best just to scrape by — giving up nights out with the family to save on gas or make the mortgage; postponing retirement to send a kid to college.”
He is aware of the importance of his speech but at the same time seems like he wants to speak the language of common people. He maybe tries to be a little bit “populist”.
He uses a lot of words to call the national spirit. He repeats a couple of times that America is a superpower and should be on top. He reminds some historical events like Civil War and says that America has been always strong. He quotes Lincoln. I think he quotes a Republican President to have some consensus from the Republicans in the Congress. He repeats couple of times that the Republicans also would vote for this Bill because it is right to do right now. He says that they would vote this bill without thinking about the past and future debates that they are going to have. I think he uses a very pragmatic style and not ideological one cause he wants the congressmen/congresswomen to leave their ideologies for a while and do something concrete for the nation.
Obama, while explaining the Jobs Bill, mentions some little stories or little recalls like: Ask yourselves — where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways, not to build our bridges, our dams, our airports? What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges? Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the G.I. Bill. Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance? In this paragraph but in many others too he uses an Episodic Framing to create an emotional impression on the audience. The rhetorical questions that he uses help a lot for this emotional tone.
I think he speaks efficiently, he got the emotional impression on people but one of the things that I didn’t like that while he was talking about the competitions between the USA and the other countries, he seemed to me a little bit jealous and he uses a disparaging tone. What do you think about these parts of his speech? Do you feel like me?
“Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us a economic superpower. And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads? At a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America? “
“That’s the kind of action we need. Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama and Colombia and South Korea -– while also helping the workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition. If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers. I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with the three proud words: “Made in America.” That’s what we need to get done.”
I think the other countries have the right to develop their countries too. Of course every country wants to become the top country but it is not that good that a President says a phrase like: “And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads? “
Towards to the end, even before he was really determined, he says that he doesn’t pretend that this plan solve all the problems. I think with this phrase he wanted to seem more realistic and not like all other the politicians who say that they are going to have the impossible.
I think, in general, it is a good speech for the content and aimed to effect with his language style the Congress and the public opinion, even there is some populism and episodic framing..