Category Archives: Presidency

Communications Advice for Mitt Romney

From my weekly column on Anyone who has been in a presidential campaign knows that everyone has advice for how you can do better. Right now everyone is telling Mitt Romney: You need to do a better job of connecting. Not me. Yes, I have advice – just not that advice. The campaign is […]

SOTU Agenda: I rule the world

It sounded like such a soft, even conservative speech. But let me get this straight: 1) banks will be punished (do I understand this right, by a committee headed by Eric Holder?) if their lending is too risky, 2) and they will be required (by another special committee, I believe) to give more home loans […]

Time to give up on Oval Office speeches?

The best thing that can be said about last night’s second Oval Office performance is that it wasn’t as bad as Mr. Obama’s first Gulf Oil spill address. Still, it was pretty bad. The president announced that combat operations are over — but 50,000 troops (all combat trained, commentators said) are remaining, including 5,000 special […]

Time to Put Away Domestic Summits

The Obama White House seems to have two answers for every big communications challenge. The first, a presidential speech. The second, a domestic summit. We can debate later why the President’s speeches have stopped persuading the public. Here I want to say a word about all these domestic summits. The word is, Why? Why does […]

The Big O meets the GOP

So I watched the president’s appearance before the GOP House caucus. It came, of course, two days after Mr. Obama delivered his State of the Union address. Drafting an SOU is generally a team effort. I have been on one of those teams (1988), penning the best received, per the pulse polling, section of that […]

Last Call

During the holidays Clark called me and said, “Ed, you’re lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground.” And I said, “What?!?” And he said, “Oh, nevermind, it’s just something I’ve been working on with a client. It probably won’t go anywhere. “The real reason I’m calling is this….” He went on to […]

Newsflash: Presidents Work on Vacation

If there’s one storyline about President Bush I’ve never had any patience for, it’s the idea that he was on an endless holiday during his time in office. Reporters loved to bandy about the number of days the president spent at his ranch in Crawford or at Camp David. The “vacations” fed the notion that […]

Time for a White Knight on Health Care?

Health care reform has turned into a fratricidal war among Democrats. Liberals vs. moderates; Reid vs. Lieberman; Ben Nelson vs. the world. Meantime, poll numbers for the president, Congressional Democrats, and the reform effort are falling through the floor. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows more Americans would rather do nothing than pass the Reid […]

Obama Soars in Oslo

President Obama’s Nobel speech is winning praise from all quarters, and rightfully so. The speech was magnificent, beautiful in places and driven by a message challenging international diplomats and intellectuals to unite their ideals with a recognition of the world as it is. The president also, in the midst of controversy over why he received […]

Stop Scaring People! That’s My Job

The Wall Street Journal reports on a testy exchange between President Obama and Congressional Republicans at the White House yesterday. “At one point, the president told Republican leaders to ‘stop trying to frighten the American people,’ displaying a chart showing diminishing job losses over the past four quarters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said […]

Obama Re-Loaded: The Afghanistan Speech

Tonight, President Obama addresses the nation about his plan for Afghanistan. Presidents are at their most presidential when talking to the country about foreign affairs, particularly war, and President Obama has an opportunity to shine tonight. While Clark has elsewhere questioned the setting for the president’s remarks, I believe the US Military Academy at West […]

Remembering Our National Perverseness

In October 1863, with his country mired in civil war, President Lincoln directed Americans to set aside the last Thursday in November as a day to give thanks for their “bounties.” Turkey was not mentioned, nor was one pardoned. Wal-Mart Black Friday sales, including Vizio HDTVs for as little as $349, still lay in America’s magnificent […]

Unprecedented Self-Promotion

Politico’s designated Obama-speech watcher/reader Carol Lee is up today with another analysis of the president’s verbal tics. Turns out President Obama may have an inflated sense of his own place in history. I know! I was floored, too. Here’s Lee: Perhaps it was a sign when President Barack Obama sat down in January to record […]

Joe Biden Sets the Bar Low

Politico’s Mike Allen offers a blurb from Vice President Biden’s speech at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner – the annual Democratic campaign gala – in Des Moines, Iowa. One part caught my eye. “We will not measure our success on the growth of the GDP, though its growth is necessary. We will judge our success on […]

Another Crappy George Bush Speech

Former president George W. Bush deployed his down-to-earth charm and humor to wow a crowd gathered for a speech in Fort Worth the other day. According to the Washington Post, “Bush did not appear to have an overarching theme, but strung anecdotes and jokes together and frequently mentioned his faith in God.” No overarching theme? […]