Kennedy and the second coming of the Great Communicator
My wife derides me continually for being overly critical. It is a charge I must accept as true. I am an independent conservative without a party. On the Right I see little to raise my spirits. On the Left I see a mob of self-righteous hungry egotistical megalomaniacs and millions of mindless drones rubbing their hands together anticipating robbing anyone with two dollars more than they. In recent weeks I have desired to write something positive but its been difficult. The bounce-back in the economy? Temporary and soon to be followed by hyper-inflation. Low gas prices? Sorry the President and his crowd want those prices to climb in order to fuel alternative energy development. Many years ago I lived in Brussels, Belgium. It rains 200+ days a year there. During my time there, a study was done to understand why Belgians experienced increased depression on warm sunny days. The verdict? They were anticipating the return of the bad weather. That has been my American political and economic outlook since 2007.
It was then that I began watching Barack Obama. I recall a conversation with a good liberal friend in mid-2007, we had just watched a rally speech of Obama’s and my friend commented, “I really like this guy, he doesn’t have any of Hillary’s baggage and he can actually talk.” Talk? The guy delivers speeches unlike anyone since Ronald Reagan. I agreed this was someone to watch but he has exceeded all of my expectations. His defeat of Hillary demonstrated his ability to charm as well as Democratic desires to cut ties to the Clintons. His defeat of McCain demonstrated as much his ability to convince people he was trustworthy as much as it was a referendum on public disgust with GWB.
Conservatives have noticed that the President is overly dependent on his dear teleprompter and have given him some grief over it. But whether reading or not Obama can deliver a speech and deliver it well. (My conservative friends would like me to spend time remembering teleprompter malfunctions or stumbling interviews but not today.) While writing my last blog article I was also listening to the President’s Wisconsin speech and townhall style questioning. I was struck by how the President seemed to address all of my concerns about healthcare. He pitched healthcare better than Billy Mays could have done.
Listening to President Obama I could have been led to believe every bit of it. The speech was marvelously delivered, addressed all of the opponent’s key fears, and left out the price tag. But I know this was classic Obama and I know the truth lies in the actual plan that will be rammed into and through Congress. I also have learned that the President gives speeches I often agree with then does things I do not. “Just words, just speeches.” The real genius on Thursday was not the speech but the performance afterward.
Naturally, I am referring to the question and answer session. From the beginning Obama was not only on his game but exceeding it. He was a political Kobe Bryant. He was charming, funny, and personable. I found myself enjoying his personality and laughing at his jokes. The girl, boy, girl, boy line was funny. The Presidency has not had this good a sense of humor or personality since Ronald Reagan. Democrats might point to Clinton but I disagree. Clinton had an edge and lacked the smoothness Obama demonstrates. In some respects, Obama is the second coming of the Great Communicator.
The highlight of the week came when John Corpus was choosen to ask a question and introduced his daughter and confessed she was skipping school. Without skipping a beat, Obama offers a written excuse and then delivers it to the incredulous Corpus. It was a wonderful moment, distracting from controversy and charming the pants off observers. (Does anyone recall the question or answer? AND don’t re-watch the video.
Reagan often charmed the public with his smile, jokes, and warmth; Obama is every bit as adept in these skills as the Great Communicator. It is worth noting that Reagan was well-known for taking his message directly to the American people and skipping the filters of the press. This was only possible because Reagan had charm. Without charm it doesn’t work. Look at G.W. Bush, while he was a nice guy, he lacked that smooth charm that endeared people to him. He was unable to win people over with his personality. Both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama possessed that gift. Love them or hate them, each one has what the French called je-ne-sais-quoi, that special quality.
Once the event had concluded, it struck me that this was just too perfect. Was this a staged event? I decided to look for evidence. Are Wisconsin schools still in session so late? As a matter of fact, Kennedy Corpus’ school, Aldo Leopold Community School, had its last day of school on Thursday, June 11. Then there is the name. The little girl’s name is Kennedy Corpus. “Corpus” is latin for body, thus the little girl’s “cool” name is in essence, Kennedy’s Body. So I decided to see if her father was listed in the phone book and elsewhere, you know to see if he is real. I found John Corpus on LinkedIn so unless this is a conspiracy it all seems real. Besides, conspiracy or not, Barack Obama has “Reagan charm.”