Friday, September 6, 2013

Obama’s Syrian Sale

Barack Obama has a poor background to be a crisp communicator – lawyer, professor and senator.  Long scholarly arguments filled with nuance.  In his press conference today from the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, his background was on full display. His answers were overly long.  He was too nice to the reporters.  He answered hypotheticals.  He went off on tangents. He sold us something by telling us what it is not. 
We all know the President can give a great prepared speech.  Yet on next Tuesday, he should abandon his perfect platform speech and make a simple straightforward pitch to the American people. 

A few suggestions:
·         Dump the “I/My” language for “We/Our”
·         Use shorter declarative sentences
·         Don’t explain your opponent’s views
·         Tell us what it is – not what it isn’t
·         Set a historical context for this action
·         Punch words with passion and conviction
·         Tell us why it’s worth it for us

He should make his talk 10 minutes.  Lincoln needed less at Gettysburg.  After weeks of debate and bluster from all sides, he should need no longer to crystallize his message. 

His words should be forged in steel, not swathed in subtlety.

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