Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Obama Moves to Down-to-Earth Oratory: Addressing people who equate change with things getting worse

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Politics/Campaigns Donate to DU
DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-01-08 02:12 PM
Original message
Obama Moves to Down-to-Earth Oratory: Addressing people who equate change with things getting worse
NYT: Obama Is Moving to Down-to-Earth Oratory
Published: April 1, 2008

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. The Speech is his finely polished sword, a transcendent weapon. Seen and heard on a thousand YouTube postings, Senator Barack Obamas speeches have made a happening of that hoariest of campaign forms, the stump speech. But Mr. Obama sheaths that sword more often now. He is grounding his lofty rhetoric in the more prosaic language of white-working-class discontent, adjusting it to the less welcoming terrain of Pennsylvania. His preferred communication now is the town-hall-style meeting.

So in Johnstown, a small, economically depressed city tucked in a valley hard by the Little Conemaugh River, Mr. Obama on Saturday spoke to the gritty reality of a city that ranks dead last on the Census Bureaus list of places likely to attract American workers. His traveling companion, Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, introduced the candidate as an underdog fighter for an underdog state. Mr. Obama, a quicksilver political student, picked up that cue....(E)choing Senator Hillary Rodham Clintons focus on bread-and-butter concerns, Mr. Obama went on to talk about the price of gas and to offer the precise amount of his health care premium and to explain exactly what he would do about the foreclosure rate and Big Oil and Big Energy and how he would stop companies from moving to China....

Mr. Obamas effort to master a plain-spoken and blunt language that extends back centuries in Pennsylvania is accompanied by no small stakes. Voters here, as in neighboring Ohio, where Mr. Obama lost the white and aging blue-collar vote, tend to elect politicians whose language rarely soars and whose policy prescriptions come studded with detail. The problem with talking about hope all the time is that these are not hopeful lands; Obama is talking change to people who equate change with life getting worse, said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic Party consultant who has studied the political culture of these working-class states with a Talmudic intensity.

Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obamas Democratic rival, has studied this argot. Her style of declamation tends toward that of the school valedictorian, but she grounds her talks in detail after detail after detail her plan for stanching foreclosures, for tuberculosis, for tax breaks and so on and on, every program coming with a precise dollar sign attached. A thrill these talks are not, but G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, noted that politics that attended to the precarious details of life could provide comfort to the hard-pressed.

If youre an unemployed steelworker, a former coal miner, you want to know about job training, who pays your health care, Dr. Madonna said. Obamas speeches are uplifting but without much specificity, and thats a tough sell for working people who dont live in a world of ideas....
Refresh | +1 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-01-08 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. Obama does what he needs to do to
communicate with Americans across the broad spectrum. He will let Pennsylvanians know why he will make the best president!

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sun Sep 24th 2017, 05:45 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Politics/Campaigns Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC