Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hillary and Town Hall Meetings

By way of Dante "Man, Myth, Legend" Scala:

"Jon Chait of The New Republic (subscriber only), via Kausfiles, argues that on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton will suffer in comparison to superior orators Barack Obama and John Edwards:

The question is: Which candidate is more likely to benefit from endless hours of speechifying, hand-shaking, and town hall meetings? There's no reason to think the answer will be Clinton. While she may be just as smart as--and more experienced than--Edwards and Obama, she is an average orator, while Edwards is a very good one and Obama is a brilliant one. Having seen all three give speeches, it's hard for me to imagine how a prolonged side-by-side comparison will move voters into Clinton's camp. And, as the best-known of the leading candidates, she'll have the hardest time making a strong new impression anyway.

Clinton may never match Obama's 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention. But "speechifying" is one thing. Shaking hands and answering questions at town meetings in New Hampshire is quite another.

Back in the 2000 primary season, Al Gore delivered few stemwinders. But by the time New Hampshire voters went to the polls, he had gotten the town meeting down pat (warning: shameless link to book, now available for less than three dollars on Amazon!). As activist Bill Shaheen said, it's not all that difficult: "all you have to do is sit there and listen to their questions and answer them." If Gore could manage that, why can't Clinton, as long as she's willing to do so?"

Here is his site: http://graniteprof.typepad.com/

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Long live the return of Scala!