The Oratory of Barack Obama

Topic: The Oratory of Barack Obama

Michael Waldman: Well in my job, right now, I’m nonpartisan, so whether Obama’s delivering it or not, I’ll leave to others or my private thoughts.  Anybody running for president and anybody who serves as president has to do a variety of the same thing, which is to call up the very basic, traditional American ideals and use them to make an argument about our place in the world and about public policy.  Certainly, Obama has done that a lot and very effectively in this campaign.  He places his campaign in this context of American history and of American ideals and our quest to live up to the ideals in a way that all the greatest presidential speeches have done from Lincoln to Roosevelt to Reagan, and that’s what you’ve gotta do.  And now John McCain is not as proficient a speaker from a prepared text.  He has written books, and when he’s in a town meeting, he can talk the same way and make people really understand how the moment today meets the moments of where the country has been courageous in the past.  For McCain, you know, the challenge is going to be to step up to it when he has to give a big, formal speech.

Michael Waldman sees Obama succeeding and McCain lagging behind when it comes to speech making.

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Keep reading Show less

Preserving truth: How to confront and correct fake news

Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?

  • "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
  • The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
  • Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
Keep reading Show less