I remember when I first saw a minute of one of Jeb Bush's speeches last year, before any of the debates, I instantly sensed that he didn't have what it takes. He stumbled over practically every sentence as if he were reading the text for the first time. I instinctively turned off the speech — it isn't fun to watch someone who seems uncomfortable and forced.I comment:
There's a reason Obama, as a candidate in 2008, got so much acclaim for his soaring speeches. No matter what you think of Obama, you can't deny the political reality that his oratorical talents mattered.
I remember blogging the '04 convention, complaining about all the speakers, and then, when it was Obama, saying something like: Now, this is a guy I can listen to. It's funny that it's so hard to find anyone in politics that we enjoy listening to. Right now, oddly, people are enjoying listening to Trump and Sanders... old men yelling at us. It's not soaring oratory, but it's all we've got. I'm thinking we, the culture, has some responsibility for this. It's the pop style of the time.Here's the old post of mine, from July 27, 2004:
Now here is a speaker I can stand to listen to. He's modulating his voice and he seems to have the speech memorized, so he doesn't have that awful teleprompter stare. He places some emphasis on personal responsibility.... Obama does a great job delivering the speech, even though the words of the speech are quite banal. There are many references to hope. The speech is blessedly short.A new pop style was emerging, the one that's been superseded by angry-old-guy-yelling. I click back to see who spoke before Obama at the DNC in '04. What was the dying-out old style then?
Daschle and Mosely Braun... Mosely Braun stressed out her voice and hurt my poor ears. Can't they turn up the sound levels and coach the speakers to speak to the people watching at home in their living rooms? This speaking to the huge auditorium is quite likely to get Kerry in trouble later this week, as his manner of speaking is insufferable when he's projecting into a large room. And we all know that speaking (and screaming) to a large, noisy crowd was fatal to Dean's candidacy....And 12 years later we seem to have a taste once again for looking on as the loud voice stirs the crowd. It's nothing you want in your living room in person, but you like the thrill, vicariously, from a distance... like a teenager lying on the carpet, listening to heavy metal through headphones.