Advice to Dems: Show Don't Tell - Macleans.ca

Advice to Dems: Show Don’t Tell

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God, Night One of the DNC was Bo-ring. It actually got worse as the evening wore on — at least the tribute to Jimmy Carter and the speech by J.J. jr. each had the virtue of being near-insane. The Ted Kennedy stuff was good too, extremely slick, but then the whole thing started to resemble some horrible wedding. I swear, if they can’t kick their endemic ultra-weeniness, the Dems are going to lose this thing.

Anyway, Luiza is right, the entire point of the exercise was getting Michelle Obama to stand up and say, “I love this country.”

At that point, I was reminded of an exchange Stephane Dion had with Evan Solomon on the CBC, when Solomon raised the question of Dion’s lack of charisma:

Solomon: Charisma — is it important to a leader? And if so, do you think you’ve got that elusive quality?

Dion: I think I have a capacity, yes, to convince the people and to mobilize a nation. And the people that said that I have no charisma never saw me delivering a speech. I’m able to move the people. I’m able to bring passion. Pierre Elliot Trudeau used to say the passion of reason — I have it.

Statements like “I love this country” or “I have charisma” are the political equivalent of saying “some of my best friends are jews.” If you have to say it, it probably sn’t true.

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