Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States, has had a political career that spans almost five decades. Throughout this time, he has delivered countless speeches, each imbued with his distinctive style, personal stories, and a deep understanding of America’s political fabric. Let’s journey to understand Joe Biden speeches’ rhetorical and thematic elements
A Personal Touch
One of the hallmarks of Biden’s speeches is the inclusion of personal anecdotes. These stories, often drawn from his own experiences, are not merely used as filler but as a tool to connect with his audience. For instance, Biden often recalls the tragic loss of his first wife and daughter and, later, his son Beau. These personal tragedies serve to humanize him, making him relatable to the many Americans who have faced their heartbreaks.
Emphasis on Unity
Throughout his 2020 Presidential campaign and into his presidency, Biden’s speeches often center on unity. In an era of heightened political polarization, Biden frequently calls upon Americans to set aside their differences and unite for the common good. His Inaugural Address was a testament to this, where he mentioned the word ‘unity’ multiple times and emphasized the need to “end this uncivil war.”
Biden’s speeches often carry a strong moral undertone. Raised in a devout Catholic family, he doesn’t hesitate to invoke faith when addressing the nation. It is not merely about advocating for particular policies but about arguing for what he sees as the moral choices facing the country. This was evident in his stance on issues like immigration, climate change, and social justice.
The effectiveness of Biden’s speeches can also be attributed to his use of rhetorical devices. Metaphors, alliteration, and parallelism frequently pepper his speeches. For example, in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, he described it as a “dark winter,” evoking a sense of the enormity and severity of the challenge while also hinting at the hope that spring – or an end to the crisis – might be on the horizon.
A Global Perspective
As a former Vice-President and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden deeply understands international relations. This is evident in his speeches about America’s place in the world. He often stresses the importance of rebuilding alliances, embracing multilateralism, and restoring America’s reputation on the global stage.
Focus on the Middle Class
Biden frequently refers to himself as a “middle-class Joe,” a moniker that emphasizes his commitment to the concerns of the middle class. In many speeches, he underscores the importance of policies that uplift the middle class, whether healthcare, education, or job creation. This focus resonates with many Americans who see themselves as part of this demographic and seek representation in the highest-power echelons.
Joe Biden’s speeches are an amalgamation of personal anecdotes, policy priorities, moral enthusiasm, and a deep-seated belief in the potential of the United States. They are not just words but a reflection of his journey, ideas, and vision for the country. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his politics, it’s undeniable that Biden’s speeches provide insights into the man behind the presidency and the legacy he wishes to leave behind.