Forget reform, what about the rhetoric?

A speechwriter’s view of Sunday’s health-care debate and Obama’s victory lap.

A speechwriter’s view of Sunday’s health-care debate and Obama’s victory lap

“Has Obama lost his magic?” one blogger asked about the president’s post-campaign speeches, like the first robin of spring, alerting us to the flocks close behind. Since then, they’ve flown in right on schedule: led by columnist and former Bush speechwriter, Michael Gerson, who wrote in January, “People once thought Obama could sound eloquent reading the phone book. Now, whatever the topic, it often sounds as though he is.”

Last week New Yorker writer George Packer collected a sample of people across the political spectrum, all discussing the same point.

For reasons that take longer than this space allows, I think there’s not much to that argument. Actually, one of the interesting things last week was seeing how effective Obama was on the stump—his final-week rally speech in Ohio, for example, or his interesting, unusual, reflective speech to the Democratic caucus, available on the White House Web site.

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