President Obama's Messaging Problem

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

US President Barack Obama debates Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages))

Back in 2008, political commentators and voters extolled then-candidate Barack Obama communications skills. From "A More Perfect Union" at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center, to his election night victory speech in Chicago's Grant Park, then-Senator Obama riveted the American people with his oratory.

Political speeches and campaign rhetoric are worlds apart from selling actual policy to the American people. From the Affordable Care Act to his recent debate with Republican nominee Mitt Romney, critics have charged that President Obama just can't get his message across without a teleprompter.

Editor-in-chief of the Washington Monthly Paul Glastris was once a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton. He explains President Obama's messaging problem, and how the President should prepare for tonight's debate.


Paul Glastris

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Comments [6]

James Powers from Miami, FL

@Janette I couldn't agree more. Greed is bad.

Industry not only grows itself beyond sustainability, their only focus is maintaining a revenue stream for their upper management and shareholders. It's the largest barrier to innovation in the world. Korean and Taiwanese companies have innovated in appliances both large and small as well as electronics. American companies refuse to innovate and thus can never compete in these arenas. Nevermind GE makes appliances in this country.

Oct. 17 2012 09:36 AM
Janette Ann Smith from Salem, Oregon

There was a time when buying household appliances, "General Electric" was our choice, the quality was excellent and lasted for many uses. The throw-away mentallity,taxes and greed have been the downfall of manufaacturing in this country! Anyone can make a cheaper product! Considering the landfill overflow facing the world today it does not bode well for the future of this planet.
This is not by my choice however the ordinary citizen in America does not have the money or means to fight against these conditions even though many have tried.
Greed is evil and destructive!

Janette Ann Smith

Oct. 16 2012 02:13 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Don't expect to do one set of twenty situps and have a six pack. Change is hard work and results are not immediate. Americans need to learn to appreciate when hard work is being done and to be patient.

You don't go to a fast food restaurant if you want a good steak... Americans need to grow up and understand that change comes in waves. You make the changes in Health Care or Manufacturing and then it takes time to feel the positive effects of the change.

Oct. 16 2012 12:59 PM

Obama's got nothing of substance to run on. Period. Romney is clearly better qualified to be President with a record of success and compromise with his opposition.

Speaking of the Clintons, the overrated and hapless Hillary is taking the fall for Benghazi.
She came into this administration humiliated and is now leaving the same way.
How does that angle fit into the campaign's cynical pandering to women with the help of a credulous media?

Oct. 16 2012 10:45 AM
Angel from Miami, FL

I LIKE this show when it's informative. When knowledgeable guests give straight answers to the host's concise questions, the show shines.

I HATE this show when ambiguous people come on and give opinions as though it follows some law of behavior science. A Clinton speechwriter saying Obama isn't as good as Clinton at making speeches doesn't seem self-serving at all? Anybody? It's 10 minutes or so where dim listeners are nodding along with so-called expert testimonials, and smart listeners are wondering if they're going to miss the following story when they mute the radio for "just a second".

Then again, I have to wonder if the next story is more like the ones I like than the ones I hate. Is this what it's like to be an undecided voter?

Oct. 16 2012 10:24 AM

It is NOT a messaging problem, it is a policy problem. No jobs, lousy housing market, HIGH GAS PRICES, high food prices,lying to the public on fast & furious, now lying about Libya. No amount of messaging can pretty up that up.

Oct. 16 2012 08:49 AM

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