Barack Obama is a remarkable performer on various counts, but tonight he managed something I’d only ever seen professional wrestlers pull off previously.
Pausing at one point to gaze out hopefully upon the St. Paul crowd, he appeared to notice a certain contingent chanting the now-familiar “Yes We Can” refrain. Rather than continue with his speech, he lingered there, letting the chant build and eventually fill the arena.
His talents are well-established and exhaustively documented. But it’s not just that he has a particular gift for reading from a tele-prompter. It’s also that he understands how to incorporate his audience into the performance (note too how he talks fast and almost dances in place when he’s working a crescendo—on this night he appeared even to exhaust the faithful with a succession of these). And that’s not something I recall seeing in anyone beyond the likes of Ric Flair and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
I’m not sure if that makes him more or less qualified to lead the free world.
Update. Which me reminds of this bit of a theatre from a couple months ago. Granted, it’s bit more Jay-Z than Randy Savage, but then maybe the difference between those two points isn’t entirely insurmountable.