Russell and Duenes

The Great communicator

with 4 comments

Having now heard a fair amount of both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama in my lifetime, I found the ring of truth in this week’s National Review article by Rob Long (“The Not-So-Great Communicator”). He writes,

Ronald Reagan wasn’t born the Great Communicator. He earned that title, over some pretty lean years, by hitting the road, making speeches, meeting people in unfashionable places, and eating disgusting banquet food. He would deliver a speech a day sometimes, to receptive audiences and not-so-receptive ones. He was cheered and booed and had good nights and bad nights – in other words, when he faced American television viewers in 1980 to run for president, he knew his audience. He had met them. In person. Where they lived, and gathered, and worshipped, and ate chicken dinners, and he knew what they cared about and didn’t care about. He knew how not to irritate them or, worse, bore them. It may seem like a trivial or superficial point, but there’s something exhausting and tedious about Barack Obama’s voice these days – he keeps talking but he’s not hearing his audience start to shuffle out there in the dark, check their voicemail, finish their coffee, look at their watch, and head for the door. What kind of Great Communicator is that?



Written by Michael Duenes

February 19, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

4 Responses

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  1. A bit partisan perhaps?



    February 20, 2010 at 12:20 am

  2. No doubt, but I think a fair interpretation of the two presidents as speakers based on their careers “among the people.”



    February 20, 2010 at 1:15 am

  3. You may have a point here but lets be honest… Reagan had similar seasons in his career as well! thanks for the post!

    Kurt Willems

    February 21, 2010 at 5:43 am

    • Kurt – Point well-taken. I was reflecting on Reagan in the years 1986-1988, and I gather this may be the kind of season to which you’re referring.



      February 21, 2010 at 6:30 am

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