Joho the Blog » President Kerry

President Kerry

The problem with visionary speeches in politics is the same as with sales speeches that talk about benefits: If the vision is big enough, it’s always the same speech. In marketing, you end up saying “SAves time, drives down costs, boosts profits,” which works out to the single, unified benefit: “Make more money.” In American politics the speech becomes about family, flag and freedom. If the vision is sufficiently grand, the same speech can be given by George Bush, John Kerry, Ralph Nader and your crazy Uncle Bob.

I liked Kerry’s speech because it wasn’t visionary.

By giving us enough details about what he will do, he gave us a real sense of our country’s path and his reason for running. Did you come out of the speech thinking that he’s a flip-floppy guy driven only by ambition? There goes $80M of Republican advertising, down the ol’ drain.

One of the stupid TV commentators – I swear that in the first three minutes after the speech one of them was commenting on Kerry’s rate of sweat – said that he failed to explain his Iraq policy. Bull! He said exactly what he would do, although he steered clear of the important details of how exactly he will implement his plan. But we have 100 days and three debates for that. I thought Kerry – and his Media Engineers (credit where credit due) – hit exactly the right spot in the Empty Vision vs. Policy Wonk spectrum.

I now believe Kerry will win the debates in the way that matters: Convincing the undecided that he deserves their trust and their vote. The debates are beginning to smell pretty darn delicious at this point. Mmmmm. I mean, is there anything that Democrats look forward to more than seeing W wiped in his own flop sweat?


By the way, there was a delightfully active – and delightful – conversation in the comments during my disjointed realtime blogging of the speech.

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