Leaving aside passages in which he quoted a Chicago pub owner and a letter from a citizen from Georgia, President Barack Obama used the first person singular—including the pronouns “I” and “me” and the adjective “my”—91 times in a speech he delivered in Chicago Tuesday to explain his unilateral action on immigration.
But as often as Obama used “I,” “me” and “my” in Chicago this week, it was no match for the speech he delivered in Austin, Texas, on July 10, when he used the first person singular 199 times.
Obama’s speech, according to the White House transcript, was approximately 4,200 words and lasted 33 minutes. That means that on average Obama used the first person singular every 46 words—or every 22 seconds.
President Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, in which he presented his understanding of the moral significance of the Civil War, was only 696 words long. In that speech, Lincoln used the first person singular once.
As we noted the last time Jeffrey went on a pedantic word-counting expedition (and irrelevantly compared Obama's words to Lincoln's), one analysis found “Obama has distinguished himself as the lowest I-word user of any of the modern presidents.” Needless to say, Jeffrey doesn't mention that.