Anatomy of a Stump Speech

Sen. Barack Obama's stump speech is a 45-minute, ever-evolving set piece that he has given as often as three or four times a day for months and months, from tiny county fairgrounds in Iowa last summer to packed basketball arenas in big cities around the country in recent weeks. The speech, delivered without notes, includes some building blocks that have girded it for a year and sections that have been dropped or added in over time. Many of the additions are riffs that he's created in response to criticisms made against him, lines of attack that he absorbs and tries to turn against the opposition. Following is a partial transcript of a representative speech given in Boise, Idaho, on Feb. 2 to a crowd of about 14,000 in the Boise State basketball arena.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company