President Obama's Speech to the Epa: Repetition That Works

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President Obama’s 2012 EPA Speech: Appeals That Work President Barrack Obama utilizes a variety of rhetorical techniques to deliver a message of appreciation to the Environmental Protection Agency in his January 10, 2012 speech at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. He uses his charismatic persona to reverberate his message to America, that preserving our environment is not in direct conflict with a healthy economy but rather juxtaposed in the balance of what is both right and what is economically feasible. While weaving Pathos, Ethos and Logos throughout, it is his use of repetition that is most effective; repetition with the aim of boosting morale. In short, his use of rhetorical repetition and appeals work. Obama deftly sets a tone of praise with Pathos by emphatically thanking the EPA six times (12 of the first 28 words), invoking feelings of acceptance while appealing to a plethora of emotional sensibilities not the least of which is pride. Considering the situation – that this speech was delivered to the entire EPA department, some 800 individuals nationwide, who came together in January on the heels of what had just been a controversial year filled with bitter bipartisan attacks from special interest adversaries – there is no doubt emotions were already running high. Considering the context – the President of the United States speaking at the White House in front of their boss – he is clearly tuned in to the feelings of what are a room full of highly attentive, engaged and motivated listeners. Obama further uses Pathos by personalizing the relationship between the organization, its employees, and the “good work” that they are doing by creating a cleaner environment. He continues to direct an emotional charm to the audience, effectively using the rule of three to bolster the heroic efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency

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