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.”

  1. I too am a conservative Independent. I do love your blog; not because it makes me feel good, because it certainly does not. But it does echo my own thoughts and it is a comfort to know there are others feeling my pain at what is happening. lol I guess it is true about misery huh?

    Every day I become so saddened and feeling helpless and disgusted and discouraged and I tell myself that tomorrow I am not going to turn on the computer. To Hell with it all! This beat up old broad who has given her life over to trying to make things better one person at a time, and in the mean time writing letters by the gross to congressmen trying to get things better for others, but within the American ideal of self reliance and fairness, just might as well give it up. Shut up and go paint a pretty picture! Pick a flower from my garden and spend the day just taking in it’s beauty while incidentally wielding a paint brush so if anyone asked what am doing I can point to the blob on the canvas and smile like i have been productive.

    Then I see the site url’s of the people who have visited my blog that day and I give it another go because maybe, just maybe, i am reaching someone. Maybe, just maybe, I am making a difference in someone’s thinking and actions or just keeping them informed on what is happening to our nation.

    I guess I will blog again tomorrow. And so, I figure, will you. BB

    • I guess I have consigned myself to living in an upside down world. But like you, I feel compelled to try to change things even if only in a small way. I too write letters but I find I only get stock responses back. I think they never read letters but only tally a vote and send back form letters. Better than nothing but I’d love to make an argument just once. One day I got several hits from the House of Representatives each with a duration of more than an hour (one over 2 hours.) But in “eeyore” fashion I figured it was some bored interns.

      But yes, we keep striving to make a point – even if it feels pointless.

    • reedkeys
    • June 15th, 2009

    Odd how you and I seem to be getting the same heat from our wives. What do they know that we don’t? I feel content in my criticisms since I feel they are constructive. The comparisons to Reagan will only last until the unemployment rate hits 15% or we have another domestic terror attack. I hope neither of these things happen, but for me he is more like Carter: A pretty smile with nothing behind it but platitudes.

    • Perhaps I was too subtle (although I think not) my comparisons to Reagan were solely based on style. Policy and substance were outside the scope of this essay. In summary he has Reagan-like charm and humor. Carter had naive country-boy honesty. After Nixon people didn’t trust any politician and then came this bumpkin who professed his faith and looked like he just stepped off a tractor. He was not Mr-Right-for-the-Presidency but happened to be right what Americans thought they wanted following “Tricky Dick.” I could write a whole blog on Carter…

      Anyway, Obama may be as naive as Carter, he certainly was as negative as Carter (until Clinton smacked his ass,) but in spite of that he has Reagan-like wit and warmth. However, I don’t believe a word of what he says. Even a CNN analyst commented that the speech was “classic Obama, he tells America what they want to hear but that isn’t necessarily what he will do.”

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