Should we listen to Bill and chill?

Mr. Clinton’s consummate storytelling skills were evident during his “Chill Out” speech yesterday in Missoula. He chose the forum to educate Democrats regarding the current “vigorous debate” over whether Senator Clinton’s refusal to withdraw from the race is hurting the Democratic primary.

As children, we were imprinted with the “Once upon a time” formula, and Mr. Clinton worked that formula to perfection yesterday. In this case, his “Once upon a time,” was, “On June 2, 1992, when I won the Democratic primary, I had been so chewed up…” etc.

At this point we are told how the big bad wolf, — in this instance Ross Perot– entered the forest.

Thankfully, however, the situation was saved. But not, he notes– and this is really where you see his gift– not by Candidate Clinton, the hero, but by YOU: “Six weeks later when the Democratic Convention opened– thanks to you, and many people like you– Al Gore and I were in first place.”

That pause before “thanks to you” is what’s known in my business as ‘the reveal’– our hearts swell as he lets us in, and makes us one, with his victory.

Did Bill C. unveil the right idea, in the right way, at the right moment– or was it too little, too late? I look forward to your thoughts.

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2 responses to “Should we listen to Bill and chill?

  1. Bill is so right: Democrats and the MSM pundits need a moment of silence, a deep inhale (we’ll make Bill inhale this time), and a drawn out exhale. We’ve got two strong candidates in a tight race — neither able to seize the nomination without the backing of the super delegates. And just when you think the end game is a given in politics, the unthinkable sometimes happens. (Think no farther than Spitzer.) The ear-piercing clamor for Clinton to drop out is a failed proposition…unless the goal is a divided party and illegitimate nominee. We shouldn’t be afraid to complete the process; or we should seriously consider changing it for the next time around. Bill was also right when he said, “If a politician doesn’t wanna get beat up, he shouldn’t run for office. If a football player doesn’t want to get tackled or want the risk of an occasional clip he shouldn’t put the pads on.” As intense as the Democratic primary season has been, it’s nothing compared to what awaits. Swift Boat season is always scarier than Michigan and Florida re-votes.

  2. One can master certain tricks of the speaking trade – pauses, use of “you,” etc. – but if that is not matched by intelligence and (even more essential) charisma, can technical tricks alone really save you? Will a well-placed pause really get one that much closer to achieving Max Weber’s notion of “charismatic authority”? Bill Clinton oozes charismatic authority from every pore…but Al Gore for all his smarts never quite mustered it… were Al’s pauses all off?My other question: are the Dem’s totally screwed if McCain snags Condo Rice as VP?

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