I’ve listened to some of the post-conference post mortum on Fox News Channel and am surprised by the reaction there. Both Mort Kondracke and, amazingly, Juan Williams, seem rather impressed by the speech. For reasons that escape me, while I have very much liked GWB since his emergence on the national scene, I’ve very seldom been impressed with his oratorical skills (the post-9/11 address to Congress and his speech to the Texas legislature right after Al Gore’s concession being the two most notable exceptions). For example, I’ve long thought that Tony Blair has done a far better job of articulating, first, the need for the war on terrorism and, more recently, war against Saddam. Maybe it’s my academic background, with its inherent expectation that people be able to articulate their ideas and think on their feet. Whatever the reason, GWB seems to be much more effective with a general audience than he is with me. (Ironically, this was also true with Clinton, although for quite different reasons. I was always impressed with his oratorical skills and intellect, but thought he was a sleazebag from the earliest days of the 1992 primaries.)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.