With the U.S election coming up Michelle Obama decides to speak her mind on the presidential election, with strong opinions, arguments, and praise to the citizens of the States. She paints Donald Trump as an antagonist, especially by bringing up Trump’s recklessness towards the global pandemic COVID-19.
Obama makes her case clear, she wants people to go out of their way to vote. She wants people to vote for Joe Biden.
The circumstances of the speech are at the Democratic National Convention 2020, where she is standing her own house. The background is blurred in the video, but it looks like she is standing in her living room. The fact that the living room looks like a casual home, makes her appear more down to earth, which appeals to the pathos of the audience.
She also appeals to pathos by making it clear that she recognizes the sacrifices, pain, and promise the people of America have to offer. Obama helps Biden appeal to the people’s pathos as well. She tells his story, the pain he has been through, the grind he has been through, the kindness and passion he has to offer.
She sheds light on the personal and humane side of Biden. People can relate to these personal anecdotes and the losses he has been through.
She uses ethos by being one of the most beloved and well-known women around the world. She also gains credibility and trustworthiness by seeming completely honest: “So let me be
as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country” (ll. 43- 44). She describes the state of the nation and mentions the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19. She recognizes and acknowledges the two biggest problems in the country in an honest manner, appealing to both pathos and ethos. Her honesty appeals to ethos.
She also shows her kindheartedness for the children in the country by saying: “But right now, kids in this country are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another.” (ll. 15-16), this appeals to pathos. Time and again she brings up statistics to gain credibility, this appeals to logos.
It appeals to logos because she makes sense out of her statements, by adding numbers to visualize her statements: “When my husband left office with Joe Biden at his side, we had a record-breaking stretch of job creation.
We'd secured the right to health care for 20,000,000 people” (ll. 36-37).
She also makes use of a quote from John Lewis and then rephrases it seconds later: “...not just feeling, but doing; not just for ourselves or our kids, but for everyone, for all our kids.” (ll. 40-41). The quote and her rephrasing appeals to pathos and logos, her compassion for all kids appeal to pathos, and the logic of acting when something is wrong appeals to the viewers' logos.