Recently I heard about President Obama hosting the annual Easter Egg Roll as well as visiting troops in Afghanistan. From my government studies, I was able to understand these duties as three of the different roles the President holds: the Chief of State, the Commander in Chief, and the Voice of the People. Originally, I found these two events interesting because they are completely different, but they both include duties of the Chief of State. I was able to further appreciate other ways our President serves the United States.
In hosting the Annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House, the President performs his job as the Chief of State, “the living symbol of the nation.” As Chief of State, he is in charge of ceremonial events, which increase morale in the country. On April 9, 2012, Obama presided over all aspects of hosting this year’s 134th Easter Egg Roll with the theme “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move.” The event included family activities and the traditional egg roll on the South Lawn, as well as “educating families on smart ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise choices into their daily routines.” In promoting healthy lifestyles, people gained a positive perception of Obama, which reflected positively on America as well. I appreciated Obama’s effort to use the opportunity to spread ideas, which will improve the quality of life for the American people. Next, I found it amusing that President Obama was even represented by a picture of his family’s dog, Bo, on the red Easter egg. In conclusion, Obama successfully performed his duties as he appeared as a remarkable President and representative of the country by hosting a day of fun and promoting healthy lifestyles.
On May 1, 2012, President Obama visited the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to greet the American troops and present ten Purple Hearts. In his visitation, he performed the duty of the Chief of State as well as the Commander in Chief and the Voice of the People. At this event, his duty as the Chief of State is different than when he hosted the Easter Egg Roll. In Afghanistan, he stood as an inspirational symbol of the country while he addressed the troops rather than hosting an event. The soldiers who earned the Purple Hearts held President Obama in high esteem and looked to him as the most important figure in the country. Also, by presenting awards to righteous people, other Americans wanted to gain the same honorable mention, which increases morale in the country. I value the President increasing morale because it strengthens our country’s identity. In addition, as the Commander in Chief, Obama interacted with the troops in order to evaluate strategic plans for conflict and motivate his troops to persevere, “We don’t go looking for a fight. But when we see our homeland violated, when we see our fellow citizens killed, then we understand what we have to do.” Lastly, as the Voice of the People, he gave a message of gratefulness from the people of America to the troops. Obama expressed America’s gratitude in saying,
“And so, together, you guys represent what is best in America. And you’re part of a long line of those who have worn this uniform to make sure that we are free and secure, to make sure that those of us at home have the capacity to live our lives…And I’m here to tell you, everybody in America knows that. And everybody in America appreciates it. And everybody in America honors it.”
The President is able to make speeches like these because he knows the true feelings of the people of America. Obama’s trip to Afghanistan was extremely impressive going a great distance to perform three of his roles.
I overlooked the importance of each of the Presidents’ roles in each event until my government studies. In using the knowledge I obtained, I am able to see the significance of each action the President takes. I now see how each role represents not just the President, but also the entire country. President Obama does a great job in juggling all roles at one time and creating a fantastic identity for America. As seen in the two events, Obama is a figure for, speaks for, and gives direction for the United States of America. When throwing an event or giving a speech, he embodies the ideals of this country. While performing his roles, he is motivating, thoughtful, and insightful.
I have always found the presidential election an exciting time of political competition. I like to see how each candidate displays their viewpoints and attacks other candidates. In America today, it is apparent that technology shapes our world and candidates have taken that greatly into account. Many political parties use campaign commercials in order to win voters’ support. I have always found the commercials amusing, but not until my time spent in government class did I consider what the producers and campaigners consider while creating the ads. The short commercials often address the points of emotion, persuasion, factual claims, and cinematic style in order to arouse audiences and win supporters for a candidate.
With technology today, it is easy to add things to a commercial, which will catch the audience’s emotions. Music is very important. A song with a beat that is loud and rhythmic provides a feeling of security and determination. A viewer may be engaged in the commercial because they can feel the candidate has a positive strength because of the music, which is what they are looking for in a candidate. In Mccain’s “Freedom” campaign, the music provides a sense of encouragement and a positive attitude, which many Americans would find appealing in a candidate. Another example of catching viewers’ emotions is when the commercial contains a picture or clip, which people would awe over. For example in Romney’s “Better” commercial, a baby is used in order to catch the audience’s attention. The baby is cute and innocent, which causes people to be on the side of the baby. Therefore, the commercial producers make the candidate’s views coordinate with the baby in order to win supporters. Emotional appeals can be a key way in catching people’s attention.
Wouldn’t this baby catch your emotional appeal? (“Better”)
Persuasion is a set of beliefs, where in campaigns, the candidates try to sway their opinions and gain votes from people with their same beliefs. In order to win votes, the candidates must convince their audience. The commercials include information that proves how the candidate is the best choice. In Gore’s “Accountability” campaign commercial from 2000, Gore provides reasons why education is a very important issue. The commercial provides information that people should pick him because he is dedicated to improve education by lowering class sizes. Persuasion is probably the most important style.
Next, the objective, factual claims, is used to show if a candidate is truly committed to what they tell people their viewpoints and goals are. The campaign commercials are able to prove this by providing examples of what they have already done in the past that support their future goals. For example, in Obama’s Early Childhood Education video, facts are provided to show Obama can be trusted in what he says he will do. The commercial provides, “Barack Obama promised to invest in early childhood education,” and then it shows that he kept his promise because he “enabled the head start & early head start programs to serve an additional 61,000 children and their families”. A campaign commercial is able to provide evidence of how a candidate is truthful, which viewers would not have thought about until seeing the commercial.
Lastly, cinematic style is how the filming is edited to please audiences. The different styles include voice-overs, pictures, video transition, etc., which help keep audiences interested. In Bush’s commercial in 2004, the cinematic style creates a comedic commercial. The music helps create the tone of hypocrisy. By using clips of the wind surfer going back and forth, people are able to understand how Kerry often changes his mind. The cinematic style helps enforce ideas and make the main ideas clearer.
As hopefully seen, the different motives all have the same goal in mind: to win the candidate votes in the election. In the end of the day, the commercials are successful if they are able to convince voters. Many of the campaigns become very competitive and will talk bad about the other candidates in order to make themselves look better. In my opinion, I believe using emotion, persuasion, factual claims, and cinematic style is the best way for a candidate to prove himself.