Saturday, July 30, 2016

How to inspire: advice from the Republican experts

This morning's Washington Post brings us a verdict on Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech from an, um, unimpeachable source: a guy who used to write speeches for the Great Inspirer, George W. Bush.  What did he think of Clinton's rhetorical effort?  Guess:

And given his record, let's just say his advice on inspiring speeches has a great deal of validity.  Who could forget perhaps his proudest moment of inspiration?  Not us.

From The Washington Post, May 2, 2003:
ABOARD THE USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, May 1 -- President Bush proclaimed victory in Iraq tonight from aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier returning to home port, but he cautioned that much remains to be done in the broader war against terrorism.
"The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001, and still goes on," the president said in his national address beamed from the deck of the Lincoln. . . .
"The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless," Bush said. "We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide." Victory in Iraq, he said, was "a crucial advance. . . . We've removed an ally of al Qaeda and cut off a source of terrorist funding."   . . .
Although his words were triumphant, Bush's tone was measured. Some in the audience of sailors and airmen sat on the upper fuselage and wings of two F/A-18 Hornets on deck. Most stood quietly between what were clearly the applause lines and then clapped respectfully. Their most enthusiastic and lengthy cheers came when Bush congratulated their performance in Iraq and told them near the end of his speech "you are homeward-bound."  [Bush had ordered the ship stopped just off San Diego so that he could make his inspiring speech, thus delaying said homecoming – Ed.] . . . .
Bush was to spend the night on the Lincoln, and both his arrival and stay here provided the ultimate in presidential symbolism. For a president fresh from victory in battle, who has cultivated an aggressive, can-do image, it was a scene straight from "Top Gun" that is sure to appear in future campaign ads.
Bush was so exhilarated by the sights and sounds of the ship, he abandoned his usual media aversion and became a virtual camera hog, grinning and posing with sailors, shouting at journalists to take more pictures and ask about his flight.
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the speech had been written over the past week, by chief speechwriter Michael Gerson  . . . .

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