mardi, mars 21, 2006

An Observation

So, many of you know that I work for a Fortune 500 company*. I'm writing to you from a hotel not far from our corporate headquarters. What blows my mind about our company (and we have about 25,000 employees) is that we have so many exceptional people who work here. I assume that we are like most large corporations in America - we have a lot of folks who are intelligent, creative, hard-working, talented, dedicated, etc. We also have our share of dunderheads.

The reason I give you this background** is that as I type this, I'm watching the President's news conference. It is clear to me that the President is a man of ideas - or that he has memorized some ideas, but I'm blown away by how (frankly) unable he is to express those ideas when he is not reading speeches. Listening to him answer questions, watching him lean on the podium, taking in his facial expressions and contortions, counting all the "ums" and "I believes," there is no way the President could win speaker points in a high school debate tournament (he'd take the 4 in every round), and there is even less of a chance that he can sell a concept or win support for a theory. He is neither persuasive nor articulate, and, as one listens to him, it is almost impossible not to focus on his labored efforts to communicate, rather than on the message takes pains to get across.

I'm sure that in person he is a man of abundant charisma, but on television, answer questions from white house correspondents*** he is inept and sad.

*In fact, I was just promoted to Vice President - in jest I say it's a shinier pair of handcuffs, but, in all candor, I'm kind of honored and humbled and proud all at the same time.

**Besides trumpeting my promotion - gosh, I'm so modest.

***The news conference is over, and CNN is applauding the President for calling on Helen Thomas to ask him a question. It's the first time he's done that in three years. Never let it be said that one cannot earn praise by setting very low expectations and then doing very little.