Thursday, July 29, 2004

Kerry, Political Oratory, and the Convention

Along with many other commentators and news sources, the Washington Post seems to think Kerry did a great job with his acceptance speech this evening, and that the Republicans now have their work cut out for them.

A Challenge To the GOP On Values, Security ( "Rarely has an acceptance speech come with so much hype and drama -- as well as nervousness among the Democrats about Kerry's capacity to rise to the moment. For all his attributes, Kerry has never been known as a charismatic politician and rarely has he demonstrated a great gift for political oratory."

While I do agree that Kerry's speech was strong, and that he has positiioned himself, Edwards, and the Democratic party well, I do think that he once again did not demonstrate a gift for political oratory. Not to say that he is an inarticulate oaf, he's just not a great speaker. Edwards did much better last night, and many of the convention's other orators delivered their messages much more effectively than did Kerry. Great message, nicely crafted speech, some wonderfully turned phrases, but less than ideal delivery.

Of course, his ability as a rhetor is not my primary concern, nor is his message, per se: I'm more concerned with his plans for action and his position on issues I care about. And on those counts, he does quite well.

And even if he's not the most polished of speakers, he's infitinely more articulate than Bush.

Here's the New York Times take on Kerry's speech, as well. While it offers less in the way of positive/negative reception, it has a nice recap of the highlights, and good analysis of the speech, itself, including Kerry's use/repurposing of messages used in the past by Bush and Cheney, and his references to Ron Reagan's words at Ronald Reagan's funeral.

All in all, it seems that the convention is being very positively received in the press. Let's hope that Kerry and Edwards reached some of those critical swing voters over the past four days!

- posted by laurie @ 7/29/2004 08:58:00 PM
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