Caroline Albanese

Audio Assignment: Barack Obama’s Voicemail

In Academic Writing on November 21, 2012 at 2:38 am

After going through everyone’s assingments in class, I decided to change my assignment from the “Make weather” audio to the “Create a Voicemail Recording,” which is an assignment to a record voice mail message for use samples, impressions, and/or music.

Instead of trying to (poorly) impersonate Barack Obama, I decided to instead create an automatic voice messaging system for his answering machine. This allowed me to think about what issues the president is facing that people would want to ask him about like the economy, the job numbers, and the ongoing wars and conflicts overseas. I also added the “swipe” at the G.O.P and Fox News, as they have been a notorious thorn in the president’s side during his terms.

The reason I switched my assignments is because I think the voicemail assignment offered more space for a historical argument. Mine being – what  questions has Obama left unanswered?

The voicemail format of the audio really helps so that – what about the economy, job growth, immigration and the Gaza conflict? I only added 5 for time purposes, but I could’ve added at least five more, and had interviewees record their questions under each number, like a recording.

Next, I could go back into Obama’s speeches, and see if he can answer these questions in another recording. His view on job growth, how he’s going to handle Afghanistan, new policies he’ll announce on immigration. It could also be a means to listen to the silences  as the numbers keep adding up “Press 12…Press 13…” with the more conflicts Obama faces in his term.

The thing about a voicemail is that it’s a message you leave because you want to be answered. Called back. Responded to.

What if Obama can’t respond back because he doesn’t have an answer? The silence of an ignored voicemail can say a lot.

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  1. Your assignment was well put together, very creative, and caught my attention. The humor at the end about the birth certificate and GOP was very funny. I think you fulfilled your objective of creating a historical argument about the questions President Barack Obama might have left unanswered through the use of the voicemail message. I would have liked to hear a message from someone who chose one of the options to leave a question or comment on the voicemail. You mentioned that because of time constraints you didn’t do that, but just one would have added a nice touch to the whole scenario.

    This past election and the debates leading up to it showed that many people were unsatisfied with President Obama and his leadership during his first term. They feel like he did not do enough and the promises that he made during his first campaign were unfulfilled. I recall one debate when a woman in the audience said that she was tired of defending Obama and his administration and Obama initially responded with a laugh, probably because he was caught off guard by her comment. If your voicemail was real and people could call and leave a message for one of the options, I can only imagine the messages that they would leave.

    You mentioned that you could go into Obama’s speeches and see if he can answer these questions in another recording. I think that would be a great follow up to your assignment. You can get countless audio clips on the Internet from past debates and townhall meetings where Obama responded to questions from citizens in small, intimate settings. Your creativeness in putting this together was classic and truly enjoyable.

  2. Thoughtful and humorous, feels like it should be on The Colbert Report. A voice mail like that one is perfect for informing those who don’t follow politics. It identifies key issues and even gives us the president’s perspective (the “swipe”) The addition of humor is very helpful to attracting people to whatever the cause may be, which can be exploited by a talented producer.

  3. Caroline, this was a great post in response to the assignment. It caught my attention and seems that you put some thought into it. It provides a good historical argument, as i believe one of the groups is doing unfulfilled presidential promises, and i was curious as to whether that group has these topics and questions in thought while they are doing their project.

  4. Great job Caroline. I think something like this can be a very effective way of giving someone’s personal interary of importance in regards to issues in their life. In this case a voicemail of the President, c an be used as a satirical way to express how the people view his policies and what they think that he deems as important.

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