restricted access Obama's Rhetorical Signature: Cosmopolitan Civil Religion in the Presidential Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009

Drawing on his two books, Dreams from my Father and The Audacity of Hope, the prophetic African American Christian mythic system, and a rhetoric of argumentative reason, Barack Obama developed literary, mythic, and rhetorical signatures during his campaign for president. His signatures recast binary oppositions and answered questions of identity with a set of dissociations, rhetorical acts intended to transform the relationship between contraries. In his inaugural address, Obama adapts these signatures to the assumption of power as president by recalling and rescuing the cosmopolitan expression of American civil religion.