Obama's Mideast speeches: a word cloud comparison

A comparison of the words used most frequently by U.S. President Barack Obama in his two most important speeches on the Middle East to date

U.S. President Barack Obama gave a highly anticipated speech Thursday in which he expressed the broad strokes of the U.S. reaction to the wave of popular uprisings that continue to spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Two years ago, on June 4, 2009, he gave a similarly significant speech  on U.S. Middle East policy at Cairo University, parts of which, in retrospect, seem to almost foreshadow the protests that would erupt in January 2011 and the toppling of some of the leaders who tried to resist them.

Below are word clouds, or wordles, comparing the 50 most frequently used words in the two speeches (not including common words such as "the").

May 19, 2011, Washington, D.C.

A wordle of U.S. President Barack Obama's speech outlining what the U.S. will do to support the democratic changes happening in the Middle East and North Africa. (www.wordle.net)

June 4, 2009, Cairo

A word cloud of U.S. President Barack Obama's speech on June 4, 2009, at Cairo University. (www.wordle.net)