Former President Bill Clinton’s riveting speech at the Democratic convention Wednesday night offered a vivid contrast to the verbal stumbling of President Barack Obama.
Many commentators agree that the charismatic Clinton offered a stronger rationale for the current president’s re-election than Obama himself has produced. The speech put into relief both Clinton’s strengths and Obama’s weaknesses, Politico
The news service cites six lessons from Clinton’s speech that should be heeded by any politician.
Policy matters — more than biography:
Clinton spends less time talking about himself and more time talking about policy, connecting it to real people. In discussing Medicaid, for example, he brought up the plight of elderly people living in nursing homes.
While Obama seems to be gaining little enjoyment from his job, Clinton said at the end of his presidency, “I’ve loved it. Even the bad days were good.” He clearly got a kick out of his speech Wednesday in Charlotte.
The most effective partisanship seems non-partisan:
Of the five presidents Clinton cited in his speech, only Obama is a Democrat. And before criticizing last week’s Republican convention, the former Arkansas governor said it “convinced me they were honorable people who believed what they said.”
Clinton spends a lot of time tweaking his speeches until he gets just what he wants. His language is clear enough to be understand by virtually all listeners. And he’s able to present issues on his own terms.
Keep relentlessly focused on the persuadable voter:
Clinton didn’t go after Mitt Romney over Bain Capital or Swiss bank accounts. “He doesn’t believe they resonate with the voters in the middle Democrats need most.”
Own your speech — don’t outsource it:
Clinton believes in his arguments and states them in his own voice. That contrasts to the many politicians who include comments, often influenced by consultants that are meant to appeal to specific demographics.
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