Former President Ronald Reagan’s speechmaking prowess sparked a nickname – the Great Communicator. President Barack Obama is falling far short of that moniker, according to Politico.
It’s not that the current president lacks rhetorical gifts. But, “harsh circumstance, relentless conservative opposition and, above all, the inconsistency of his own messaging operation have made it difficult for a supremely articulate communicator to articulate the narrative of his own presidency,” Politico
So beyond his high likability rating, Obama has little going for him as he seeks to beat back the challenge of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The president will try to improve his performance in his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention in Charlotte Thursday night.
Even Democrats are vexed by Obama’s communication shortcomings. “I don’t think he’s really made the case for getting the credit he deserves,” convention delegate Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association, told Politico. “It’s like he hits one thing and moves on. Win and move on: that’s his pattern.”
In Obama’s speech Thursday, “he’s really got to tell people what he did and why,” Ford said.
Another delegate, Brayden Portillo, a gay activist from Colorado, told Politico that he agrees. Portillo’s advice for Obama: “just tell the story already.”
Craig Shirley, a veteran conservative operative and author of two Reagan biographies, says Obama’s issue is one of substance rather than style. “He is a terrific public speaker. It’s not his skills that are the problem,” Shirley told Politico. “It’s what he has to say that hasn’t resonated.”
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