Hopey Changey speech to change

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by saveliberty, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. saveliberty
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    saveliberty Diamond Member

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    washingtonpost.com

    In a scene from a recent HBO documentary about the Obama campaign, the candidate's chief speechwriter, Jon Favreau, looks exhausted after churning out a victory address following the last Democratic primary.

    Asked about the tone of the June 3 remarks, he shrugs: "Hope. Change. Y'know."

    A year into the Obama presidency, the White House appears to have had enough of that speech, too.

    The rhetorical crescendo upon which Obama soared into office worked wonders in the campaign. But for Obama, governing has been less a grand narrative sweep than a grueling incremental push powered by exposition and argument. And especially on the delicate world stage, Obama has turned to Ben Rhodes to make the case.

    "There is a specificity you've got to have when you are actually governing and not campaigning," said Sen. Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat for whom Rhodes briefly worked during the run-up to the 2008 presidential election. "It is very important that the president, as he takes on the thorny issues, to lay out the substance, and I think Ben is the guy to work with him on that."

    I laughed until I cried, then I laughed some more! :lol:
     
  2. theDoctorisIn
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    theDoctorisIn Senior Mod Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator

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    Is this supposed to be shocking or suprising somehow?

    I'm not sure I get the joke. Election rhetoric is different from governing rhetoric.
     
  3. keee keee
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    keee keee Senior Member

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    What is he going to speak in the Negro dialect? or I mean read off the telepromter in a negro dialect
     
  4. saveliberty
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    saveliberty Diamond Member

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    It took them a whole year to figure it out. Definition of a slow learner in my book.
     
  5. theDoctorisIn
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    theDoctorisIn Senior Mod Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator

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    Not quite. Rhodes has been working for Obama since the campaign, and the article you sourced was about the upcoming HBO documentary, not "breaking news". This is a story about something that happened last year, not recently.
     
  6. saveliberty
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    saveliberty Diamond Member

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    That explains why all the speeches sounded the same until just recently. Not. It is not the speechwriter's fault. They just have bad material to work with.
     
  7. theDoctorisIn
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    theDoctorisIn Senior Mod Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator

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    I'm not following you. Obama has NOT changed speechwriters, as far as I know. That article you posted took place last year, when Obama first took office.
     
  8. saveliberty
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    saveliberty Diamond Member

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    One of my favorite passages:

    "I drank the Kool-Aid hard after the '04 convention speech," said Rhodes. After a six-month trial period in which he drafted floor statements, Favreau asked him to help craft the candidate's first foreign-policy speech, in April 2007. In June the campaign offered him the job.

    Confirmation baby!!!

    Old guy:

    In October, the Associated Press registered annoyance with Obama's rhetorical crutches, focusing on his dependence on the phrase "Let me be clear" in speeches about everything from al-Qaeda to climate change to the introduction of the first family's new dog.

    Here's the shift coming:

    Sorensen is a staunch supporter of Obama, and even helped install his own protege, Adam Frankel, on the Favreau team. But he has said the president has appeared stuck in campaign mode for much of his first year in office and was in need of, as he put it, more "clarity and directness."

    ...and here we are at the new chief speechwriter:

    "Campaign speech is all part of one narrative, but now you are making a series of arguments," said Rhodes, who gamely deconstructed his boss's texts as if he were back in the writing workshop. "An argument is a lot clearer to a listener if there is a structure that they can follow. Structure is what allows you to build a case."
     

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