10 thoughts on “Obama the (Late) Great Communicator

  1. But he’s getting shit done, right? What would soaring speeches induce other than perhaps a slightly higher job-approval rating? The ability to push things through more quickly?

  2. His ability to get shit done is at stake. With low approval ratings and with people not liking what he’s doing, even though they like him personally, the No Nothing party can make serious gains in the house and senate in the November election. It’s been hard enough for Obama’s earth-friendly and regular-human-friendly initiatives to get passed in a Democratic congress. The fact that he’s been able to get some things done is a testimonial to congressional Democrats actually finding their spines and to Obama’s ability to make a case to the public when he goes with his strengths.

    Right now only half of those polled approve of what he’s doing overall, and a lot of people have fallen for the No Nothing mischaracterization — lies — about death panels and how good for the middle class it is for Wall Street leeches to make millions and millions of bucks sucking the blood out of the economy. And there is a very reasonable baseline fear of federal debt and big government out there. If Obama can’t connect with more people the way he did in the campaign, congress after the election will become more of a swamp into which proposals good for regular Americans will sink out of sight.

    People wonder what soaring speeches can do. Hillary Mocked Obama saying a fine speech doesn’t make angels and peace descend.

    But strong, moving communication can explain things, touch people, motivate them. And get them to vote in their own interest.

    Congress and the middle-class-friendly, planet-friendly, we’re-part-of-the-whole-world, wind-down-the-wars agenda are at stake.

    That’s all.

  3. PM says:

    Sorry, bruce, but I don’t buy it.

    Frankly, I think that the problem is one of perception–yours, as well as that of the public.

    I, personally, doubt that obama’s skills as an orator have disappeared. I, personally, doubt that his use of a teleprompter is either 1)statistically more common now, or 2) adversely affecting his abilities to communicate.

    It is the economy, stupid. Remember that phrase? Whether or not Obama deserves blame, as the incumbent, the performance of the economy affects everything, from his approval ratings (which have been very steady since the start of the year, and are not historically low in comparison to other president’s), to perceptions of his ability to give a well received speech.

    When the perception changes so that people think that things have bottomed out and are starting to get better, then Obama’s approval ratings will start to rise, and people will once more be impressed with his oratorical skills.

    And, short of a double dip recession (collapse of the EU?), I think that we are about at that turning point, and Obama will suddenly, magically, “find his voice”, “hit his stride”, “resonate with the voters”, etc. Or, maybe, just take your advice…..;-)

  4. Could easily be the case, PM. I hope so.

    Reminds me of Mark Twain — the older I got, the smarter my father became.

    The better the economy, the better speaker and leader Obama is.

    Let it be so.

  5. Mike Kennedy says:

    I’ve watched enough of Obama to have formed an opinion. Scripted…….really good. Unscripted………..really bad. I’ll take Reagan over Obama on the unscripted any day. I’ll take Clinton over Obama on the unscripted, though you are correct. You may have to have some time once Willie gets wound up.

  6. Newt says:

    Peggy Noonan nails it here …

    We are at a remarkable moment. We have an open, 2,000-mile border to our south, and the entity with the power to enforce the law and impose safety and order will not do it. Wall Street collapsed, taking Main Street’s money with it, and the government can’t really figure out what to do about it because the government itself was deeply implicated in the crash, and both political parties are full of people whose political careers have been made possible by Wall Street contributions. Meanwhile we pass huge laws, bills so comprehensive, omnibus and transformative that no one knows what’s in them and no one—literally, no one—knows how exactly they will be executed or interpreted. Citizens search for new laws online, pore over them at night, and come away knowing no more than they did before they typed “dot-gov.”

    It is not that no one’s in control. Washington is full of people who insist they’re in control and who go to great lengths to display their power. It’s that no one takes responsibility and authority. Washington daily delivers to the people two stark and utterly conflicting messages: “We control everything” and “You’re on your own.”

    All this contributes to a deep and growing alienation between the people of America and the government of America in Washington.

    1. PM says:

      Frankly, no. Peggy has it completely wrong.

      It is the economy, stupid.

      There is plenty of research that conclusively shows that the closest correlation between trust in government is with economic performance. When the economy is in the tanks, people are suspicious, and feel that government is failing, distant, futile, ineffective.

  7. Newt says:

    Before you all summarily dismiss this account, just remember which media outlet was right about Tiger, John Edwards and Bubba …

    PRESIDENT OBAMA has been caught in a shocking cheating scandal after being caught in a Washington, DC Hotel with a former campaign aide, sources say.

    And now, a hush-hush security video that shows everything could topple both Obama’s presidency and marriage to Michelle!

    A confidential investigation has learned that Obama first became close to gorgeous 35 year-old VERA BAKER in 2004 when she worked tirelessly to get him elected to the US Senate, raising millions in campaign contributions.

    While Baker has insisted in the past that “nothing happened” between them, the ENQUIRER has learned that top anti-Obama operatives are offering more than $1 million to witnesses to reveal what they know about the alleged hush-hush affair.

    Among those being offered money is a limo driver who says that he took Vera to a secret hotel
    rendezvous where the President was staying.

    On the condition of anonymity, the limo driver said he took Baker “from a friend’s home in the DC area to the Hotel George where I learned later that Obama would be spending the night.”

    1. PM says:

      Even granting your point about the Enquirer and Edwards, the Enquirer is still far more often wrong than it is right (two headed aliens amongst us? i don’t think so….). And, with a $1million reward, if there is anything there i expect that it will come out. Until then, i will give the president the benefit of the doubt (after all, there is no track record there).

      Oh, and I will also remember that a $1million reward will bring out every con artist imaginable, both those with political axes to grind, and the more common garden variety….Maybe when they actually pay out that $1 million reward I will pay attention. Until then, skepticism will and should prevail.

      One lesson that we have learned is that there is no cover up that can survive long term in this media driven and saturated society. Frankly, the best evidence of this is the Whitewater scandal that wasn’t. how many years, how much money spent, and nothing (6 years and more than $50 million). That is how you know that paranoia and conspiracy theory thinking are the driving forces.

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