Thursday, July 11, 2013

The President's Speeches

Barack Obama was elected on the basis of his speeches but since then his rhetorical skills have failed him. What happened?

I think it is a simple example of expectations. When he was a candidate he could promise anything he wanted. He had no real power. Instead, he was asking for it.

Now he is in office. People don't want to hear promises or excuses. They aren't impressed by blaming others. They expect results.

At the same time, Obama now knows the limits of what he can do and what he must do.

For most of his presidency, Obama's response to problems has been to make a speech. This never succeeds which creates even lesser expectations for his next major speech.

This was not a problem that Reagan had. He was a master at manipulating Congress and when that didn't work, he knew how to make a persuasive case to the American people. Obama has no idea how to work with Congress and tends to lecture rather than persuade.

Reagan is ranked among the greatest presidents. Even his detractors (including Obama) concede this. Obama is proving himself to be one of the lessor presidents, sinking with each speech.

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