Having read the entire speech and watched the video, I observed that there is a theme in Obama’s speech; through the historic nature of his candidacy, he is the first African-American to receive a major party’s presidential nomination.
In his speech, Obama touches certain points that made him win this nomination and that will bring victory to his party in the November elections. He focuses on the values of working hard and playing by the rules, that for last 20 years brought a victory for the Democratic party. These values appeal to bring voters from other parties, emphasising on the formula of hard work and equal opportunity. Obama defines the American dream as “the promise that hard work will pay off; that responsibility will be rewarded; that everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. We insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate individual initiative. We’re not entitled to success. We have to earn it.” Further, he focuses on the choices people should make, in order to have a change in their lives, encouraging citizens to stand out for themselves and chant “Eight is enough” (noticeable that he always mentions “we” and not even once “I”, meaning that together can change). Also, Obama behaves as a commander-in-chief, saluting the military and thanking them for the great service towards their country. This was not meant as to win more voters, but to establish a close connection with one of the most powerful forces in America becoming a shaping factor in the overall view of Obama as a president and commander. Like most of the other candidates, he will map the future ahead as the president of United States, signposting what are his intentions and what he would like to accomplish. Even in times that require a somber note, however, voters want aspiration and optimism. It’s a truism in politics that the most optimistic candidate wins the election and so Obama was wise to end on a note that acknowledged the tough times but expressed unalloyed optimism.
Relating to the video of his nomination, where you could hear an entire stadium chanting for him, one journalist mentioned something that I have never seen with any other candidate. “When he finished speaking, I looked at the faces around me. From an older African-American woman to a young father to a middle-aged woman, the tears were either in their eyes or rolling down their cheeks. A couple nearby kissed when the speech was over.” (John Dickerson) Such reaction I have never encountered from the speech of a potential president; the impact his speech had upon the lives of so many people is purely inspirational.
To me, it is no surprise that Obama’s speech is so closely connected with Emerson’s in “American scholar”. After all, Emerson was one of the people that have inspired Obama, along with Lincoln and Gandhi. Barack Obama emanates from the tradition of the black church, where “the little me within the big me” is part or particle of God, just as the Emerson was. Having said that and knowing he was educated at Harvard, just like Emerson, I can understand why education was ,and it still is so important for both of them as we saw, over the years, in Obama’s speeches and the ones of his wife, Michele Obama.
Being the 8th president in the entire history of United States with a diploma from Harvard, his choice of studying was a virtue but also an issue. All the presidents(Kenedy, Roosevelt, etc.) that have studied at one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, proved to be the best leaders America ever had. Obama going to Harvard has been a dispute throughout his presidency. Some people, like Donald Trump, are even questioning if he actually attended this university, and in his current campaign, he is trying to destroy that legacy. Harvard is the type of university that money cannot buy. To attend this institution and to succeed, one needs to be a brilliant student and some people do not comprehend that an African- American person succeeded to do so, and most importantly became the president of United States of America( eg. Donald Trump).