jueves, 28 de julio de 2016

Can Clinton meet the moment?

She’s not a natural at this, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

The charisma-challenged candidate had been around for a long time, but never established a rapport with the national electorate, struggled to articulate a vision for the future of the country, and lacked any natural rhetorical gifts.

Certainly, nobody expected George H.W. Bush to deliver the Gettysburg Address at the Republican National Convention in 1988. But, low expectations aside, his speech became one of the most memorable from any modern-day nominee.

It was from the stage at the Superdome in New Orleans that Bush delivered his famous promise: “Read my lips: no new taxes.” Accepting his party’s nomination, he unveiled his vision for “a kinder, and gentler nation” and ended with the uplifting vision of a better America as “an endless enduring dream and a thousand points of light.”

Democrats gathered in Philadelphia for Hillary Clinton’s nomination compared her challenges to those of Bush Pere, a politician known for plodding pragmatism who was running on a platform of relative continuity with the Reagan administration that graduated him. But at his convention, Bush handily dispatched with the notion that he suffered from a “wimp factor” and the persona of an insensitive patrician — and it had a lot to do with that speech.

On Thursday night, the finale of a Democratic National Convention that helped unite the party for the upcoming fight against Donald Trump, Clinton faces a similar kind of test and opportunity when she takes the stage. Like Bush 20 years ago, Clinton must change baked-in perceptions that she lacks authenticity and vision. And she must give America a better sense of who she is when she’s not playing the politician and why she can be trusted to keep her promises.

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