In a speech given on Wednesday September 14 2005, Governor Kathleen Blanco addressed the Joint Session of the Louisiana State Legislature in Baton Rouge, Louisiana about hurricane Katrina's aftermath. The audience included President George W. Bush, the Speaker, members of the House and Senate, clergy members, commanding officers, and honored guests. In her address, Kathleen Blanco focused solely on New Orleans. She thanked everyone involved in the relief effort, outlined ways to get the people who are displaced home and safe, and focused mainly on a plan of action to rebuild New Orleans back to normal.
Just two weeks after the storm, governor Blanco was ready to address the nation about New Orleans. News crews were at the scene including the local news and CNN. The speech was recorded and is available online. She stood behind a podium in the chamber, and used a microphone to amplify her speech to the stadium seated audience. Kathleen Blanco's main objective was to get funding and support from the federal government for rebuilding the rampaged city of New Orleans. She is credible to ask for federal funding because she is the governor of Louisiana.
She established even more credibility because she promoted identification, commemoration, plans of action, and personal experience in her speech. First, she ushered in a sense of community to all the people of Louisiana by speaking to the, "brave and resilient". Positive trigger words like brave and resilient unified everyone involved in the storm, made the people of Louisiana appear strong, and helped those not involved feel more compassionate about what happened. She explained to the audience, "Katrina tore across Southeast Louisiana leaving a path of physical destruction and human tragedy unprecedented in our nation's history.
At the very beginning of her speech, Blanco made the audience realize how detrimental the storm was to Louisiana. Kathleen Blanco established identification and goodwill early on in her speech. She explained to the audience how she has met families that have been ripped apart, and how she has seen children torn and tattered because they have witnessed things no child should witness. She says, "my heart goes out to every family. "
She promoted identification and empathized to the citizens of Louisiana by telling all the displaced people, "your loss is our loss," and "we will worry with you. Her pathos is firmly established at this point because the audience believes she is a loving and a compassionate governor to Louisiana. She magnifies her next sentence and continues to say, "I pledge that I will not rest until every Louisiana family and community is reunited. " After this sentence, the audience gave applause, gaining her respect and affirmation. She went on to say, "the people of Louisiana stand tall, and I am proud to stand with you. " By putting herself in the same category as all of the displaced people, she proved her loyalty to Louisiana.
The audience has established a sense of trust to the speaker. Next, she thanked the people who have helped Louisiana by calling them "our heroes," and made everyone who helped in the relief effort stand and be recognized. This act commemorated everyone who was involved in the restoration efforts. She explained how Louisianans owe a great deal to everyone involved by using an imaginative expression to say, "as long as the Mississippi River flows to the sea, we will never forget your generosity.
She promoted awareness through recognition and reaffirmed her values by thanking the heroes whole heartedly. Then, Governor Blanco admitted her faults by using reluctant testimony. She explained how there were failures at every level of government and said, "as your governor, I take full responsibility. " Speaking against her self interest by being honest helped her establish honorable character and strengthen her ethos. She then proceeded on becoming inspirational. She explains, "together we will all transform despair into hope and show the world the true meaning of determination...
New Orleans may be ravaged but our spirit remains intact. " She reestablishes pride within the Louisiana community proving once more that the people of Louisiana are resilient and brave. At the highest point of her speech, governor Blanco aroused the audience's emotions and feelings. This sentence transcends her from a governor, to a heroic figure because she reaffirmed the beliefs and values of every person from Louisiana.
By magnifying this sentence, she gained the audiences attention to get this important point across. She advocated action for help at rebuilding New Orleans through past facts. She becomes affective by continuing to say, "Americans rebuilt Washington after the British burned it to the ground. We rebuilt Chicago after the great fire. We rebuilt San Francisco after the earthquake. And we are rebuilding New York City after 9/11. " She reiterates her beliefs, and her communities beliefs by saying, "We will rebuild New Orleans and the surrounding parishes, because that is what Americans do.
The use of the word Americans becomes a trigger word to unify not only those affected by the storm, but to every citizen in the United States. In her speech, Blanco showed emotion, character, and reasoning. She increased her pathos throughout the speech because the audience was touched by her appeals. At one point, she had to regain her composure when she stated, "the loved ones lost will always be in our prayers, as we honor their lives by creating a better state. She used examples and narratives to reaffirm her values, and trigger words like Americans to move people to act on a great cause. She gained logos by making good sense of her objective to rebuild New Orleans. Blanco provided strong evidence and stated excellent points so the audience would accept her goal.
She moved logically along with her ideas and stated, "any good architect will tell you that you don't restore a structure without correcting its flaws, but you restore it in a way that improves the original design while preserving it's unique character and spirit. Lastly, the governor amplified her ethos by ending with a prayer to show her moral character. She was sincere and her personal commitment became beyond question. Governor Kathleen Blanco was persuasive in her address to rebuild New Orleans. Her speech takes on a motivated sequence design. She aroused attention by using real life experiences and explained Louisiana's current situation. She demonstrated an urgent need by explaining the effects left by Katrina.
She magnified her need by stating, "The destruction is almost beyond comprehension. " Strong evidence satisfied her need and provoked the audience to accept her plea for aid. She used imaginative language to illustrate positive results. She explained how Louisiana will drain water from communities, how they will clean up debris and garbage, how they will rebuild infrastructures ruined by Katrina, and how they will restore the economy of southeast Louisiana to bring residents home.
She promised that Louisiana will be rebuilt better than ever. In her call for action, Blanco asked the government to cover 100% of what Louisiana will spend on the disaster. The audience showed their affirmation with applause. Governor Kathleen Blanco's speech motivated her listeners to accept her plan to rebuild Louisiana. She became a positive and respected role model because of her speech, but mostly because of her love and pride for Louisiana.