"Our Karl Rove is the blog you should be glad that Democratic strategists don't seem to listen to"
-- what they're saying on Republican blogs

Friday, August 29, 2008

Our Nation Digs Obama's Indignation


Great job with the convention acceptance speech. It was crisp, precise, and direct. But, amongst all the words, imagery, and brilliant concepts, what stands out as your most effective rhetorical weapon is when you get indignant.

It's when you become indignant that the American people finally get to see what really matters to you. You pride yourself on being cool, calm, collected -- a steady mind and a steady hand. No doubt, these are optimal traits of a commander-in-chief and a president presiding over historically challenging times. We need sober decisions by good decision makers who are not unduly influenced by the tactical forces of emotion.

Yet, by the same token, Americans tend to like these traits more in our legislative and judicial bodies than in our presidents. There is a long history of Americans expecting the executive to be passionate, values-driven and leading through a fierce intensity of purpose. You have all of these things, but you keep them behind a bullet-proof emotional vest too much of the time. This is partially why people claim "not to know what Obama is really about" or worry that "Obama is a Trojan Horse." Americans really need to believe they see the man within. Everyone knows where your mind is, but when you get indignant, you give us a sneak peek of where your heart is.

I am simply trying to pull the golden needle out of an astounding oratorical haystack: Letting us "into Obama" to show us where your passions lie is just as important as getting us inspired around your vision for a better future.


Cultured Meat said...

I agree with this for the most part- but I think the reason that Obama is so reserved is because he has to try really hard to appear presidential. He is young, black and inexperienced- he doest 'fit the pedigree' so cant afford to seem like a wishy washy emotional liberal.
But I do agree that when he was indignant those were some of his high points- he walked a fine line and did it well. He cant be idignant all the time or he'll just seem like the rest of us those pinko liberals. haha..

Jon a.k.a. "Our Karl Rove" said...

Hi Joel,

Yes, your point about his persona is key. There's no way Obama can be as effusive as another candidate can be due to his color and age.

However, I happen to believe that this is less a strategy and more of just a reflection of who Obama is.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to separate the genuine from the strategic. In this case, I believe his persona is genuine, and that he just needs to give us more of his genuine indignation as part of his communications style.