The Art of the Convention Speech

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

With primary competitors like Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul now in the distant past, and with his running mate now chosen, Mitt Romney is ready to kick his campaign against Obama into high gear. And at the Republican National Convention this week, he’ll have the opportunity to define precisely where he and Paul Ryan stand in opposition to the Democrats.

Historically, candidates have used the publicity afforded by the national conventions as an opportunity to define, or to redefine, their campaign to the American public.

Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.


Julian Zelizer

Produced by:

Rebecca Klein and John Light

Comments [3]

oscar from ny

My favorite speech is the one made by president Kennedy about secrecy..he said secrecy is repungnant word in a free society..and something about beign free and independant..

Aug. 28 2012 03:34 PM

All these commentators are missing the point. Ronald Reagan was an American hero. He was all American half back at Notre Dame, he fought at the Little Big Horn and survived, was a Hero in the American Navy was twenty Mule Team driver for Boraxo products on television. Americans love handsome fake heros called movie stars. And, whether one likes Ronald Reagan or not, he had a wonderful tone of voice that could convince anyone or anything to buy something even if the item was junk. None of the other speakers mentioned had this tone of voice - its in the tone of voice that sales. Bill Clinton and Presiden Obama have the voice quality along with presence of confidence. Lets do it this way, would one rather hear Ethel Merman, or Ronald Reagan?

Aug. 28 2012 01:52 PM

Every time I hear Democrats and their media supporters -- like the producers and hosts of The Takeaway -- play the George H.W. Bush "read my lips; no new taxes," it seems like such an unintended perversion on their part.

Bush didn't change his mind; he never wanted to raise taxes. Congressional Democrats forced the issue, and refused to make the tough budget choices needed to hold the line on things like entitlements that still dog our massive federal budgetary problems. Bush signed the tax increases that the Democrats forced on him under the threat of a government shutdown.

So here's a great line for the 2012 Republican National Convention: "Read his [Obama's] lips; huge new taxes."

Aug. 28 2012 08:55 AM

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