Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The thing is, a gift

Reid says Obama told him, 'I have a gift'
WASHINGTON – Everyone knows President Barack Obama can deliver a great speech, including the president himself, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The paperback version of Reid's book, "The Good Fight," is coming out May 5 with an epilogue called "The Obama Era." Reid said he was impressed when Obama, then a freshman senator from Illinois, delivered a speech about President George W. Bush's war policy.

Reid, D-Nev., writes: "'That speech was phenomenal, Barack,' I told him. And I will never forget his response. Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: 'I have a gift, Harry.'"
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Dag said...

I'm blank. I can't respond in words.

truepeers said...

I think that may be the intended effect.

Charles Henry said...

In the linked article, Reid's wife admonishes him for telling the story, saying that it could make Obama sound arrogant. I think she's right.

Whenever you give a speech, there are inevitably two speeches: the ideal one you imagined yourself giving as you composed it and rehearsed it, and the one you actually end up giving.

The audience can never know the heights you didn't reach, but you, the speaker, certainly should... therefore, it's only honest to admit the difference and confess that while it may have its strengths, the performance still has room for improvement.

Obama's "It's a gift" response implies to me that he's only learned how to see one half of the reality he lives in. If that anecdote is being presented in a proper context, it doesn't instill a lot of confidence in me about Obama's capacity for learning from his mistakes.