The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Features

October 2, 2012

Slate: Why presidents don't need to be great public speakers

WASHINGTON — On Election Night, after a winning presidential candidate enjoys his victory party, he should be given a bathrobe, slippers, and taken to a decompression chamber. Victory can give a president-elect a case of the bends. He is likely to think that since he has convinced the public to elect him, he will have power as president to convince the public to follow him. "It's a malady and it's a dangerous one," says presidential historian George Edwards III. "They have been talking for two years and that's all they've been doing and then they win and they say I can convince people of anything. The feedback is pretty strong."

We're all conditioned to think presidents have a powerful ability to persuade the country. That's why the press and public pour over every word of their speeches, press conferences, and Oval Office interviews. The president and his staff think speeches can change minds, too. If people are mistakenly thinking X, it's just because the president hasn't had a chance to explain Y. Once he does, polls are taken. If the people still don't agree with the president, we see it as a sign that he is somehow flawed.

But we are giving the occupant of the White House too much credit. The evidence suggests that if people don't agree with a president, his ability to persuade them otherwise is pretty limited. "The idea that presidents accomplish more if they give the right speech is magical thinking," says political scientist John Sides. "It feels good for people to hear the president say things they want him to say, but they can't mistake that warm feeling for what gets legislation on the president's desk."

1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Text Only
Features
  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140317-AMX-DESIGN-FOOD178.jpg Fun and beautiful maps of the world made from signature regional foods

    Food stylist Caitlin Levin and photographer Henry Hargreaves have collaborated on a series of food-based country maps composed of signature national ingredients.

    March 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • AvengerExt.jpg Avenger an American value

    If you’re someone who appreciates the golden age of domestic sedans — those big, comfortable, heavy-feeling cars with a uniquely American sense of style — this one ought to pique your interest.

    March 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 4.27.26 PM.png The glitz, the glamour and the movies: 3 apps for Oscar weekend

    With the Oscars approaching, this is a weekend for movies. Download these apps, then watch a few movies, create your own and settle in for the awards show.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140218-AMX-DESIGN-HOTEL182.jpg The rise of the hotel bakery

    One of the key trends in hotel design in recent years has been a sharp focus on creating a hotel lobby that is a destination, not just a pass-through.

    February 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • How the U.S. government spends millions to get people to eat more pizza

    WASHINGTON - It all adds up to a lot of calories: On an average day, the report notes, pizza provides 6 percent of the total caloric intake for American children and 4 percent for American adults.

    February 18, 2014

  • Mazda3Int.jpg Redesigned Mazda3 among best new small cars

    Mazda must be dabbling in black magic.
    How else can you explain the fact that this relatively small Japanese company is doing what no one else in the car industry seems to have figured out? They’re building cars that get amazing gas mileage and are exhilarating to drive at the same time.

    February 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • SoulExt.jpg Soul is still stylin’

    Starting under $15,000, the Soul has always pegged its success on buyers who want a trendy, contemporary, eye-catching car without spending a ton of cash. And now that an all-new Soul is out for 2014, it shows that Kia is doubling down on this recipe of combining funky looks and an affordable price.

    February 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 01.jpg US News names its 'Best Cars for the Money'

    WASHINGTON - U.S. News & World Report Wednesday announced its annual Best Cars for the Money list on its Best Cars website.

    February 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • You're doing it wrong: how to make better ramen

    NEW YORK — The finer points of instant ramen preparation may be up for debate, but the noodle cakes and flavor packets bequeathed to the world by Momofuku Ando are un-mess-up-able.

    February 10, 2014

House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Featured Comment
Twitter Updates
Seasonal Content
Poll

Will you participate in March Madness?

Yes I watch the games and complete a bracket.
Yes I complete a bracket.
No
     View Results