The president simply couldn’t seem to escape his professorial past, to convey his passion and convictions in the plain words of plain folks, and to breach the chasm between the People’s House and people’s houses.
He’s still stuck on studious.”
— Charles M. Blow, in Saturday’s New York Times op-ed “Lost in Translation” about the pitfalls of President Obama’s rhetorical style and specifically, his State of the Union address.
Blow goes on to say that Obama “seems to believe that if he does a better job of explaining his aggressive agenda, then he’ll win hearts and minds.” Instead, Blow writes, “They’re suspicious of complexity.” Maybe he should simplify, Blow suggests, or dumb down:
The message that voters take away is not nuanced: Democrats in control. Bill complicated. Republicans oppose. Politicians bicker. Progress stalls. Democrats failing.
Obama has to accept that today’s information environment is broad and shallow, and we now communicate in headline phrases, acerbic humor and ad hominem attacks. Sad but true.
You can read the entirety of Blow’s review of Obama’s State of the Union here.
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