People often cover plywood with paint, but few would advocate painting over fine cherry furniture. Many of us will dump a mountain of ketchup on greasy fries, but few would do the same to a choice cut of filet mignon. Changing a house’s exterior paint color can make it look bright and new, but no one would suggest repainting the White House beige.
Many things in life can be improved by a snip here and a tuck there: other things are best left alone.
Barack Obama may well be the most gifted speaker of his generation, especially when speaking before a large crowd and offering an inspirational message. So what has his campaign done?
You got it: a snip here and a tuck there.
One point E.J. mentions that I’ve noticed too. Beside his convention speech, I can’t think of a time in the last week or so that I saw Obama in front of a crowd. The appearances that I’m seeing showing up on TV during the day (an incomplete but probably not unrepresentative sampling) all look like there in front of a hundred or so people in a library or something. I wonder whether the celeb thing has just gotten inside his people’s collective head and they’re afraid to get him in front of real crowds.
If so, it’s a very bad mistake. He has to be who he is. He can’t run from his strengths. And he needs to charge up the people who want to be in the trenches with him. Excitement is infectious.
Exactly. Having been pushed by pundits (and, yes, bloggers too) to be more specific in his policy positions, he now often comes across almost wonkish in his public statements. And having, for whatever reason, largely abandoned his trademark speeches before large crowds (or at least he has exiled them from his ad campaign), he often seems flat and uninspiring.
Obama needs to get back to doing what he does best: speaking to large crowds, getting folks excited and reminding us of the nobler aspects of our souls.
Barack, just be yourself. Then let the political chips fall where they may.