Monday, November 5, 2007

Clinton's Cerebellum

[Clinton Speech] What a difference a brain makes.

That was the feeling I walked away with Sunday afternoon after hearing Bill Clinton on the stump for Hillary at the University of Utah Union Ballroom. Read the standard quote-paraphrase-quote-paraphrase daily newspaper coverage of the event here and here.

Unlike the current occupant of the White House, Clinton can form a full sentence without tripping over his tongue. But it gets better. The man can then form another sentence. And then another. Before you know it, you are actually hearing an entire stream of cogent, rational thought. One idea tracks to the next. And the next. Clinton even has the talent for outlining a speech, tossing out his main themes (by number, even! One, two and three!) and by then returning to each point, one at a time.

It's called oratory skill. The best presidents (think Lincoln, both of the Roosevelts, Kennedy and Clinton) have it. We've been tortured for seven straight years in listening to a president who sweats just trying to follow a noun with a verb.

Listening to Clinton was a day of auditory liberation. It was like V-J Day for the ears.

Beyond that, he left the crowd with this sobering thought: Whomever wins the race for president, in any era, "the only thing that matters is: Are things better when you left than when you started?' "

We still have 14 months to suffer under Bush and I think we have the answer, right? (Holly Mullen)

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