John Kennedy Inaugural Address Analysis

891 Words 4 Pages
While addressing a crown on January 1961, John Kennedy made on the most iconic speeches in American history. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” was Kennedy’s famous line that inspired a generation of Americans to take an active role in their government. Cloaked in thick Boston accent, the words Kennedy spoke were a few of the most powerful during the Cold War; and now Kennedy’s inaugural address find it’s place in the archives of America’s great presidents. On a freezing day, with snow covering the ground of Capital Hill, an audience of 80 million Americans tuned on T.V. to watch the youngest president in American history offer his view of the future. With such a large national, and even world …show more content…
The 1960 was one of the closest in American history; the popular vote had a .2% difference, and the Electoral College majority for Kennedy was given by only a few thousand votes in Illinois. Kennedy needed to make a statement in his inaugural address; he needed to show that he was a uniter, and a leader for all of America. He needed to find credibility. For his inaugural JFK chose a very formal suit with tails and requested that men in attendance wear top hats. JFK reveled in the formality and it can be seen that his suit and general appearance it very neat, without a hair out of place. The significance of style cannot be understated with regards to credibility. The tailored suits and white ties were meant to give America and the world a sense of power through elitism and wealth. This coupled with the detailed oak podium and engraved presidential seal, projected power. Furthermore, JFK credibility was established through his oratory ability. His spacing between each word, the word choice, and his rhythmic cadence that provided his speech with variance and appeal. Through JFK’s presentation and style coupled with his effective use of language and diction, he offered the American people something to be proud of, and something to admire—all establishing his credibility as an effective leader and …show more content…
JFK, one of the most charismatic American presidents ever to hold office, had a handle on all three elements. Charisma is a trail often possessed by strong leaders who have “a way with people,” or those who are able to command a room. In Kennedy’s first inaugural address, he uses his charisma and presence to give a presentation that powerful and inclusive. He shows warmth when he appeals to the poor and disadvantaged: “If a free society cannot help the many that are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” Furthermore, because Kennedy had come form one of the wealthiest American families, his concern for the vulnerable is admirable. As he scans the crowd, he makes continuous eye contact that he mixes with strong hand movements and gestures. This helps establish JFKs power, and adds to his charisma; he is lively and energized. Finally, his stern voice, and consistent declarative statements add an air of power and gives JFK commanding presence. He demands respect with his words, but he still remains

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