Analyzing the Influence of Martin Luther King Junior's "I Have A Dream" Speech on the Success of Barrack Obama's Presidential Campaign


When Martin Luther King delivered his “I have a dream” speech, it was thought to be the perfect speech, delivered at the perfect time, at a perfect place; using the perfect vocabulary with perfect timing. King’s speech was inspirational to everyone, it was delivered at the tomb of Abraham Lincoln (honest Abe), and the choice of words were evenly balanced and excellently delivered. King’s speech was perfect for the age and time it was delivered, Barak Obama must have got his speech for the presidential campaign at a similar pitch a he got the job, with his we can do it attitude.


The timing of the delivery of the speeches by both men were spot on as the people were ready for a change, they were ready for progression. It was felt that for Martin Luther King and President Obama both spoke for the people and their views at those points in political history. It should not be a major point that both King and Obama are both black, their speeches were aimed at everyone, black, white, and every shade in between. The important aspect to look at is the design of the speech that both men used and their use of positive language and delivery of their message.

On the other hand the speech made by both King and Obama, have been seen as racist. This is only possible it you take out particular phrases and view them in isolation or the rest of the speech. King meant his speech to be about all of the oppressed, not just black people. Sometimes no matter how carefully you craft your words so as not to offend, someone will usually quote you out of context.

For Obama, the place of delivery of his speech in the presidential campaign, although not perfect in comparison to King’s still worked well for him. He understood his audience and this shows by his carefully chosen and crafted words. Just like King, Obama was speaking to everyone.


There is a comparison between the two speeches, but as Martin Luther King’s speech was so memorable for so many reasons as discussed earlier, surely by using the tactics for his speech for the presidential campaign, President Obama was choosing to build on what was already a successful formula for a speech that needed great impact and identification with his audience. The strategies borrowed from King certainly did not lessen Mr. Obama’s speech in any way.

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