Hillary had some tough acts to follow – the Obamas, Bill, Joe. The pressure was on.
I looked at the speech as a speechwriter does. That’s how I started off in politics, after all. Writing speeches for Jean Chretien.
Here’s the good:
- Her visuals were amazing – I don’t think she is capable of taking a bad picture
- Despite a sore throat, she didn’t stumble or fumble – her delivery was good
- She was best, I thought, towards the end – where she was talking about the rights of minority communities, and our collective obligation to defend them
- The speech touched on every theme and issue that was out there
And the not-so-good:
- That last point – touching on every theme and issue that was out there – was also the main weakness of her speech
- It was a laundry list speech – written by a team of speechwriters, and likely run through a couple focus groups
- Like all laundry list speeches, it kind of lacked a centre
- The main challenge of the speech was not sounding like a president – we all already know that she has an unbelievably impressive CV and is eminently qualified for the Oval Office
- The main challenge was addressing her greatest weakness – her persona, her personality, her humanity: she needed that speech to connect with people, and make them feel more comfortable about her
- I don’t think the speech accomplished that – not because she lacks humanity and the common touch, but because they tried to cram too much stuff into one speech
That all said, I think it probably did what they wanted to do. It reminded people that she is thoughtful and smart, and that she is not a maniac.
Therefore, the ballot question, for one of the most important elections of our lifetimes – even for those of us up here in Canada – remains the same:
Donald Trump. That’s what this thing is all about.
And, here we go.