Speeches that Changed the World
“A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep! A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.” ~ Peggy Noonan
On Wednesday night’s broadcast of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Maddow delivered a mock presidential speech about the oil spill, the kind of speech that she wishes President Obama had delivered, the kind of speech I wish he had delivered. Obama’s speech was tepid. It lacked passion. It lacked decisiveness. It lacked, well it lacked the power of the person sitting in the Oval Office.
Aside from the fact that I am a liberal Democrat, I believe Barack Obama to be an extremely gifted orator. He possesses the ability to move audiences in a way that this country has not seen in many years. The two Bush presidencies left me aching for an articulate, erudite president, one who could take the presidential platform and elevate it, exploit it, invigorate it.
I mean, “Bring it on” just does not a “Four Score” speech make. So I could appreciate what Maddow and other pundits were saying about Obama’s speech, how it did not reflect the true abilities of the man or the power of the office.
As Maddow said,
“You know how sometimes you get into an argument or confrontation with somebody, you can’t help afterwards thinking of all the things you wished you’d said?” Maddow said. “Well, last night after the President’s big Oval Office speech on the BP oil disaster, I had a version of that experience. I hadn’t, of course, been in an argument with the President or anything. I just couldn’t stop running tape in my head of what I wish that speech had been like, what I wish he’d said. An Oval Office address is a priceless chance to get the nation to stop what it’s doing, to stop every other TV show in the country, to get us all to pay attention all at once to this crisis and to what the President has to say about it.”
So here is Rachel Maddow’s mock presidential speech. I wonder if Obama’s invitation to Maddow to visit the White House on Thursday had anything to do with her impassioned version . . .
More later. Peace.
Music by David Bowie, “As the World Falls Down”