With political speeches, separating the obvious from the muddy is typically the name of the game. American politicians have a long history of burying a central message within layers upon layer of unnecessary hype words and distractions. In the case of President Obama’s 2014 address to the UN General Assembly, this is most definitely the case. Directly following the speech, an international wave of disapproval and even confusion followed the president. Some even went as far as to say it was amongst the worst speeches of his presidency. In looking through all of the excess with the address, the president’s ideals come across as disconnected.
After the removal of spoken transitions, Obama’s address follows this pattern: Russia, Ukraine, global togetherness, global warming, carbon reduction, the global economy, and international terrorism. While an address to the UN should be multi-faceted, Obama himself mentions in the speech that the main takeaway should be the combating of ISIS forces. This should lead to the question of why did it take him six topics and 31 minutes to get there.
The most interesting aspect of this address to note is not so much these topics being successful as individual talking points, but rather the president’s desire for them all to compliment each other. This is where many feel like the speech failed. As stated with the previous fact-check, the president’s words and facts were within an appropriate range of accuracy, at least, for the most part. The real trouble comes with lacing all of the claims together to form a successful speech.
In the end, one could say that Obama’s UN address is an interesting watch not so much because of entirely false claims, but instead to view a politician that may really not have too much to say, yet chooses to stand in front of an audience for 38 minutes anyway, to prove otherwise.