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15 de Febrero, 2008

The Minimization of Inspiration

Categorized under Corazón , Race for '08 | Tags: , ,

FINALLY someone says it. And says it well.

Hillary said she found her voice in New Hampshire because she cried in public. Her audience applauded. But now it seems to the senator that having a voice is irrelevant because somehow having a voice is now the subject of ridicule in the new Clinton campaign.

The Clintons seem to have nothing left to add to the national conversation other than to tell us that the conversation itself is beneath them. It's ironic for so many reasons, not the least of which being that Bill Clinton himself has been known as much for his stunning ability to inspire an audience and an electorate as he is known for his other considerable political skills. Yet now the ability of a leader to communicate with those he or she intends to lead is simply childish.

First of all, don't the Clintons realize that when they're both saying the exact same thing (especially when that thing is so ludicrous) that it puts us in the room with their handlers and so-called experts. We're suddenly aware of the "strategy" and we stop being aware of the candidate and the woman. So much for finding her own voice.

Second, there is the assertion that speechmaking is irrelevant. I'm wondering where this country would be without great oratory, without great communicators, without those who have been able to articulate a vision and move a nation.

Where would we be without Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech? Is there a single piece of oratory that defined a moment more than that speech did for the civil rights movement? That speech is a cry for freedom and equality that changed the world. Yes, the marches and the political wrangling with various presidents (yes, including Johnson) mattered. But, it was that speech which encapsulated the simple humanity that was at stake. That speech galvanized a movement, electrified a nation, and embarrassed a government into action.

What about Robert Kennedy's, "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

Or JFK's, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Churchill's, "Never in the history of mankind have so many owed so much to so few."

Roosevelt's, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Lincoln's, "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it."

And, now we have Senator Clinton's, "Talk is cheap." Boy, she really knows how a move a nation.

Speeches Do Matter

All that nonsense about "Oh SURE Obama can inspire massive crowds of people to work for free and march far and line up around the block and jampack auditoriums until they spill out on the sidewalk and watch from closed circuit TV and create videos that get millions of hits and hope like they haven't hoped in years, but how important is it to elect a president who can merely inspire us with all of his cheap wordery" stuff really annoys me. And yet these people want to use McCainiac framing against their own political party's frontrunner and whine about being called "cynics"! ! !

They emulate their own choice of candidate well with their minimization of inspiration.

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Comentarios (12)

Capsicum dijo:


Last weekend before the Potomac primaries, thousands of Obama supporters flooded every Metro stop in the greater DC area, handing out pamphlets, dancing around with Obama signs, and in general being visible and energized. We saw a handful of tired looking people hading out Clinton gear, but there were many fewer of them, and they didn't look excited to be there supporting their candidate.

It really made me wonder, why the heck get out in the cold and ice and rain if you weren't even pumped about getting out the vote? And this less than a mile from Clinton's national campaign headquarters.

Then one of us went over to talk to one of them, and learned that they had all been hired off of want ads, for $7/hour.

It was sad, man. We didn't find a single Clinton volunteer at our Metro stop. Not one.

nezua Author Profile Page dijo:


thanks for adding to the topic with your experience. it really underlines the point well.

K.VILLA dijo:


alright so i actually got to shake Hillary's hand the other day b/c she was out door-knocking in my 'hood here in San Antonio,TX. and having come face to face with her on my street, i see her as more human than i did last week.

i still plan to vote for Obama but i have to point out that this post lacks any reference to a single great WOMAN orator and that's a glaring omission. we live in a patriarchal world. men are groomed to speak boldly and loud and women.....well, not so much.

that manager/leader comparison that someone made to Clinton/Obama kinda got me thinking. i think it's so much easier for men to go the route of "leader" than women. politics is still a men's club.

i love Obama. he's amazing. but as a woman, i'm just bummed out that there is no female Obama running for prez. guess i'll just have to be patient.

nezua Author Profile Page dijo:


good points.

Jaime dijo:


I respect Hillary Clinton, even with my disappointment in some of the cowardly moves she's made while voting on the senate floor, and in some of the cheap shots she and Bill have resorted to during this election. I think she really does want to do some good things for this country and, if given the chance, would probably even accomplish some of them.

I saw both Clinton and Obama speak last week (my Street Team video this week is essentially a highlight reel of those two speeches), and she was very good, actually. If I didn't have Obama, or her past actions, to compare her against, I would have walked away quite impressed with her. But her speechwriters have clearly been taking some notes, and she still can't inspire the levels of pubic adoration he has attracted.

Let's face it, things have been very bad for a very long time. We need a little inspiration. And if he can motivate hundreds of thousands of kids to go out and vote - something P Diddy failed miserably at four years ago - hopefully he can get Congress to fly right, too.

nezua Author Profile Page dijo:


not just that, but the clinton machine is getting very nasty lately in what its pulling, as desperation settles in. i'm not even talking about racist dogwhistling. more like this nonsense with florida, it is not cool. to scramble for those delegates, when the primaries were not authorized and she knows it, and nobody else even competed? come on. thats just sleazy.

Karen dijo:


You left out a personal favorite of mine, Barbara Jordan's statement on the articles of impeachment. It's actually pretty relevant now.


nezua Author Profile Page dijo:


thanks for adding that karen! but that quote was not mine, the blockquote. that is a quote from huffington post, the link at the bottom will take you to the article.

nezua Author Profile Page dijo:


and of course the point is that senator clinton does not inspire like barbara jordan, or MLK, etc.

Dee Loralei dijo:


to add to the list of great women orators, Shirley Chisolm and Ann Richards. And Molly Ivins could give some good oratory too. I don't remember Maggie Thatcher being a particularly great speaker, but she must have been decent. Same goes for QEII and Diana. I know other countries have and have had female leaders, but I can't tell if they are good or great, not speaking the language is a hinderance to judgement here. I'm assuming women like Susan B Anthony, Carrie Nation and Ida Wells gave good speeches too.

Anyway hope is important As is inspiration. I voted for Obama on Feb 5 patially because he inspires my 17 yr old son and my 69 yr old mother. My mom said my son looks like she felt when she heard and voted for JFK, and how she felt about MLK and RFK. ANd I realized I had never felt that way, ever. Oh sure, I've heard some pretty great speeches but never got that same visceral and heart tingling feeling for a sustained period of time.

So after Edwards withdrew, I looked elsewhere, and I would honestly vote for either one of them in Nov, if only for the federal judges. But that said, quite a few votes Hillary has made has caused me to question her judgement. As has the people she's surrounded her campaign with. I know both are very similar on issues. But hell, I'm a huge Alinsky fan, and that also added a bonus check in the Obama column for me.

That said, this primary can't end soon enough. I've had to boycott some of my favorite sights and writers, not because they are pro-Hillary, hell, I am too. But because they are rabidly anti-Obama. We have got to pull together in Nov, that is not helping matters toward that goal. Keep your eyes on the prize people.

nezua Author Profile Page dijo:


thank you for adding to the list of great female orators. one of us should go to that post i linked, and inform that writer, as well. perhaps i will do that.

i hear you on the primaries dividing us. i've given up my guest posting as well as my regular reading of one site because they are obsessed with being anti-obama and it just creeps me out.

i have to add that in a way i'm glad for the tension. its' shown me some things in some places and people that i would not have hidden from my awareness.

A-Dawg dijo:


I can't stand Hillary...I hope Obama's streak doesn't stop.