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Rating the President’s biggest speeches

But despite the growing noise, Obama has left a pretty clear legacy of presidential rhetoric. These are the speeches experts rank as the best of his two terms, with an insider's view on how they were crafted.

1. The victory speech

Obama first established his reputation as a powerful, influential speaker in 2008, when he broadened his "Yes we can" campaign slogan beyond supporters and invited all Americans to share his commitment to change. Obama's 2008 election victory speechObama's 2008 election victory speech

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Obama's 2008 election victory speech 16:51

2. Newtown

He did the same in 2012, this time showing his ability to connect emotionally with the public after the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut:President Obama sheds tears during gun speechobama crying gun executive action sot_00004809

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President Obama sheds tears during gun speech 01:54Several "great speeches of Obama's presidency were after national tragedies, which struck the right note," said author and professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania. Many of those addresses were a collaboration between Obama and senior speechwriters Cody Keenan and Terry Szuplat, said former White House staff speechwriter David Litt. "To do that," Litt said, "you have to figure out ways to use some of how you're feeling but also be able to step back for a moment."Former Obama speechwriter on gun controlFormer Obama speechwriter on gun control

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Former Obama speechwriter on gun control 04:12But Jamieson feels like Obama didn't always hit the mark. During his first inaugural address, he failed to digest a core idea into a single memorable phrase — like Franklin Roosevelt did in 1933 with, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

3. Selma

On the other hand, Obama did create a history-making moment in 2015 on the 50th anniversary of the civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, when he delivered an address that many experts said rates among his best. "That is a powerful … beautifully constructed speech," Jamieson said. Highlights from President Obama's speech in Selmabts obama selma bloody sunday anniversary_00004424

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Highlights from President Obama's speech in Selma 08:07When it comes to putting pen to paper, those who worked with Obama say each speech largely was crafted by the President himself — especially the important ones. "He's a better writer than his speechwriters," said Adam Frankel, a senior Obama speechwriter from 2007 through 2012. "He's probably the most gifted writer in the White House since Lincoln or JFK." Watch 'The End' on Wednesday at 9pm ET/PTCNNFilms The End 01182017_00000330

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Watch 'The End' on Wednesday at 9pm ET/PT 00:30Unlike President John Kennedy's artistic style, which might have distracted from the underlying emotion in the message, Jamieson said, Obama's crafting has been so stealthy that listeners could be more easily moved by the speech's content. The 44th President approaches writing with "his own original, unencumbered style, free of conventional thinking," Frankel added. He captures "thoughts as distinctly as possible. Using phrasing that is appropriate to the occasion, but not typical."

4. Obama's farewell address

According to Obama's former writers, the process to create a speech usually goes like this: First, there's an initial conversation between the President and his top speechwriters. They discuss their target audience and what the message should be. Ultimately, they aim to tell a compelling story that people will remember.Next, Obama's chief speechwriter would talk with other writers about how to frame the story. For example, shortly after the 2016 election, chief speechwriter Keenan met with staffers to figure out how to write Obama's final address to the nation. This meeting was actually captured in the CNN Films' documentary The End: Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House, airing Wednesday at 9pm ET/PT. Inside a meeting of Obama's speechwriters Inside a meeting of Obama's speechwriters

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Inside a meeting of Obama's speechwriters 02:09First drafts would go through policy experts and back to the President for final edits or approval. Several weeks later, that meeting resulted in Obama's farewell address,which was delivered to thousands of cheering supporters in his adopted hometown of Chicago, where his "Yes we can" slogan transformed into "Yes we did."President Obama says goodbyePresident Obama says goodbye

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President Obama says goodbye 04:01"President Obama has always been better speaking to live, large crowds than he has been when speaking to audiences from the Oval Office," says Jamieson. The farewell speech ended up being "deeply optimistic at a time when Hillary Clinton's supporters are not. They needed to hear that optimism."

5. Reaching out to Muslims in Cairo

Experts mentioned other standout examples of well-written Obama speeches, such as his Cairo address in Egypt when he reached out to the Muslim world …Obama's 2009 Cairo speech: A look backObama's 2009 Cairo speech: A look back

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Obama's 2009 Cairo speech: A look back 03:31

6. Obama's 2008 national address on race

… and his "More Perfect Union" 2008 campaign speech about America's long rstruggle with racial issues.2008: Obama addresses race in America2008: Obama addresses race in America

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2008: Obama addresses race in America 05:05While some writers get "locked in flourish," said former Obama staff speechwriter Aneesh Raman, the President's writing style "is always pretty direct."Former White House staff speechwriter Aneesh Raman works with President Obama aboard Air Force One in 2014. Former White House staff speechwriter Aneesh Raman works with President Obama aboard Air Force One in 2014. During Raman's two years as a White House staff speechwriter, he didn't often meet with President Obama face to face. But the President did edit Raman's draft speeches and send them back with handwritten notes in black or blue ink. "When you get handed notes as a speechwriter you can fall victim to the illegibility of someone's handwriting — but his was always legible," said Raman, who now helps high school students raise college scholarship money at an outfit called Raise.Me."His handwriting is very small and neat," said Frankel. "His edits are extraordinarily precise. He may rewrite something the way he wants it and also restructure paragraphs that he thinks are out of order."

Experts offer advice to Trump

President-elect Trump and his speechwriters are hammering out what will be one of the most important speeches of his — every — presidency: the inauguration speech. Lincoln and Kennedy are still remembered for theirs, so you know — no pressure.Twitter tips for our tweeter-in-chief @realdonaldtrump (and the rest of us) Twitter tips for our tweeter-in-chief (and the rest of us) If Jamieson could offer Trump a few tips for his inauguration speech, this is what she'd advise:• During the speech, identify principles that Americans all share, not ones that divide us. Trump wrote inauguration speech himselfInauguration 2017: Trump wrote speech himself• Don't offer specific policy proposals (for example, don't get the audience to chant "Build a wall, Mexico will pay for it").• Suppress all campaign tendencies and move into the persona of a president and elevate the audience.'The Oath' quiz: Test your inauguration savvyQuiz: Test your inauguration savvyAnd about Trump's tweets: Jamieson recommends "falling silent for at least a day after inauguration, to let the address settle in." Not that speechwriters have any qualms with using the social platform. Obama's writerssaw the rise of Twitter as a legitimate presidential communications tool, said Litt. "We certainly saw this in President Obama's second term, there are more and more platforms and you have to be able to not just pick the right message but pick the right way to deliver that message" — whether it's a speech or a tweet. "You can say a lot in 140 characters," Jamieson suggested. "Use this format to be presidential. Mr. Trump, find a way to do that."Source: CNN

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