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Put the spotlight - ON ME: Obama uses first person singular 99 TIMES in speech

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/13/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (

Word usage seemingly hammers home president's vow to use unilateral action

"I," "Me," sand "My" were words used by U.S. President Barack Obama in a speech vowing unilateral action. In fact, Obama used the first person singular a whopping 199 times. This figure did not account for instances when he quoted a letter from a citizen or cited dialogue from a movie.

In President Obama's recent speech, he used a first person singular, on average, every 12 seconds.

In President Obama's recent speech, he used a first person singular, on average, every 12 seconds.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (
7/13/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: President OBama, unilateral action, speech, first person singular

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama in a speech delivered late last week declared his intention to use unilateral executive action to achieve his policy goals that Congress would not enact through the normal, constitutional legislative process.

"It is lonely, me just doing stuff," Obama said at the speech in Austin, Texas. An official transcript and video of the speech was posted on the White House Web site.

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"I'm just telling the truth now," Obama told the crowd. "I don't have to run for office again, so I can just let her rip. And I want to assure you, I'm really not that partisan of a guy."

Obama then went on to say Abraham Lincoln was his favorite president, and then gave a list of what he called "great Republican presidents," which, surprisingly, the arch-villain of the American left, included Richard M. Nixon.

"My favorite president is the first Republican president, a guy named Abraham Lincoln," Obama said. "You look at our history, and we had great Republican presidents who - like Teddy Roosevelt started the National Park System, and Dwight Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System, and Richard Nixon started the EPA."

The White House presented Obama's speech, which the president delivered at Austin's Paramount Theater, as "Remarks by the President on the Economy." The speech ran 40 minutes, and the full transcript, which included annotations for "laughter" and "applause" is more than 5,500 words.

In stark contrast to Obama's favorite Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, his Gettysburg Address was only 272 words - and did not include any form of the first person singular.

In President Obama's speech, he used a first person singular, on average, every 12 seconds. Had the president  spoken for just 15 more minutes at that rate, he would have used the first person singular more than 272 times in one speech, exceeding all the words in the Gettysburg Address.

In one 68-word passage, in which he vowed to act unilaterally if Congress did not enact legislation he liked, Obama used the first person singular five more times than the zero times Lincoln used it in his 272 words at Gettysburg.

"I can't stand by with partisan gridlock that's the result of cynical political games that threaten the hard work of millions of Americans," Obama. Said. "I'm not just going to stand by and say, okay, that's--I guess that's the way it is. Whenever and wherever I have the power, the legal authority to help families like yours, even if Congress is not doing anything, I will take that opportunity."


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