Probably at the expense of my intelligence, I’ve been obsessively watching the DNC. Ok, fine, the last hour of the DNC. Most of the speeches are really boring, and I only half listen to them while I’m catching up on the DailyMail.
I have a lot of thoughts on the DNC, many of which I’m afraid to write. For instance, while I love Michelle Obama, I found her speech to be profoundly un-profound. Watching reactions to it on Twitter made me so angry that I had to take a sleeping pill to knock me out. I don’t like that she gets hedged into the role of “good wife,” when she could have given a fucking killer speech about policy, and threw in a few obligatory words about how her husband is still a nice guy after four years in office. I don’t like how she worked off the template that the Republicans set last week—talking a lot about her childhood to make her seem like the “ordinary American.”
I kind of lost hope that we’d see a single good speech at either the RNC or the DNC. And then Bill Clinton stepped on the stage last night, and taught me more about what Obama has done during his Presidency than I’ve learned from the media in the past four years. He electrified me, he engrossed me, and I listened to every word he was saying (until like the last 10 minutes when he should have been dragged off the stage).
I’ve always been in the minority on this, but I don’t think that President Obama is a great speaker. He is enslaved (is that racist?) by the teleprompter. His speech is halting. The speeches he gives, while no doubt well-written, are full of sound bytes, and quite frankly, boring. The only reason why people respond to them is because:
a. They want to.
b. He does a great crescendo at the end, where he speeds up his rhythm, and raises his voice.
But oh, Bill Clinton, he can speak off the fucking cuff. He can get on the stage, and directly talk to people, like they’re his equals, not like children who need to be manipulated and pandered to in order to win votes. I think he’s one of those people that, while brilliant, is genuinely interested in other people, no matter their stature. The true sign of intelligence is realizing that you’re no better than everyone else. You have gifts, but other people have gifts as well, and it’s important to let them share them with you.
There are so many things that are wrong with Bill Clinton. He made so many mistakes during his presidency. I couldn’t even begin to speak on them. But the gift he gives us is great speechmaking, and I wish it was a gift he could pass on to the men who are running for the office of President today.
To see how little Clinton followed the transcript of his speech, take a look at this excellent breakdown.