And now for some real political talent . . .

This guy has to be the most talented politician I’ve ever seen. That’s not to say he was a great president – sadly he was just a quite good one – at least comparing him to some others.

If I were a politician I’d just watch footage of this guy and try to figure out the lessons for my own style. A master at work. In this clip he just eats up the camera. Amazing the space he gives to views that are not his ‘key messages’ and somehow gets those key messages across inadvertently – as if they were your thoughts, not his. Hawke and Blair were close, but not as good. Odd that they’re all heads of left of centre parties – and not necessary. There’s no reason why someone from the right couldn’t do it. But at least for me, I don’t know of anyone like that.

And over the fold a speech he gave to Harvard’s 2007 class day (parts 1, 2 &3). I could pick holes in it, but it reminds me of his campaigning to become president. Amazing how reassuring his grand friendly vision is.

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Pappinbarra Fox
Pappinbarra Fox
13 years ago

Who are you talking about? None of the images show up on my computer. Is that a problem at my end or yours? I use IE 2007

Vee
Vee
13 years ago

They are embedded YouTube clips of Bill Clinton.

Jezery
Jezery
13 years ago

I can’t see them either, but I know that’s because my employer blocks all that stuff. Could that be your problem as well?

derrida derider
derrida derider
13 years ago

Oh yeah, Slick Willie was/is the best. His wife is just as smart – maybe even smarter in some respects – but with nowhere near the superb ability to fake sincerity and make you think he’s talking about you and only you.

And he was, on balance, a pretty good president too.

Fred Argy
Fred Argy
13 years ago

Nicholas, I agree that Clinton is a super communicator – in the class of Blair. But, honestly, I think John Howard was quite superlative too – seaking to the people in simple and direct terms and in the Australian vernacuar. He never seemed to speak down to people. Rudd may improve but he is not in Howard’s class because he seems to be lecturing rather than talking to us. Needless to say, I welcome Rudd’s election but he needs a good speech writer and some elocution lessons.

Bring Back CL's blog
Bring Back CL's blog
13 years ago

I agree with DD.

I wonder whether a ‘masterful’ politician can ever be a ‘great’ politician.

Niall
13 years ago

I’m with you, Nicholas. I’ve always been impressed with Clinton’s mode of speech, his commonality and his reach. He’s just that guy, y’know?

Tanya
Tanya
13 years ago

Fred Argy: “Rudd … needs a good speech writer and some elocution lessons.”

What a topsy turvy world: the Labor boy from Nambour needs lessons in how to speak with the punters. Perhaps he could just head down the hall for tips from the girl from Adelaide via (what would seem to be the outer burbs) of Melbourne. I quite like Kevin’s wonkish ways … but I’m just another girl from Nambour.

Mangoman
Mangoman
13 years ago

I actually think Rudd is communicating pretty well. He has changed over the years and seems to have his tendency to arrogance under control these days. I certainly wouldn’t want to hear him trying to dumb down what he has to say.

Clinton impresses as a bloke who actually thinks people are OK and should be treated with respect. It may be a charade but it works. If Rudd is able to cultivate that feeling in what he puts across it doesn’t matter how he says it. If you are a wonk then be a wonk, just make sure that you are a respectful, caring wonk rather than an arrogant one.

John Greenfield
John Greenfield
13 years ago

Clinton was a brilliant politician in the Bob Hawke mode. Just as Hawke was the only Labor leader who could have brought Thatheresque neoliberalism to Australia, so too no other Democrat could have achieved the same in the US. It is a tragedy the truly repellant Republicans had the house during his presidency.

I get the impression his missus is much more the real Thathcrite deal. Interesting times, indeed, particularly if our own La Thatcher gets the top job at the same time as Hillary.