Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Great Ommunicator

I have heard repeated two comments that I want to call out:

1. Obama is a great communicator
2. Obama's is not a great communicator otherwise everyone would be in favor of Obamacare.

An example from Morgan Freeberg

By no imaginable standard can a politician be considered a great “communicator,” or even an adequate one, if he is unable to persuade voters of average-or-below intelligence to back his policies.

Further, is there any evidence that Obama is especially good at communicating with those on the far right of the bell curve? Chait is persuaded, and we’re willing to stipulate that Chait is brilliant. But Chait was persuaded before, and we know lots of brilliant people who oppose ObamaCare.

Obama is very good at making smart liberals feel superior. That is a communication ability, but not a terribly useful one for a politician in a democratic country.

Here is the issue: If a great communicator lays out a program, and no one is buying, does that mean they suck? or the program sucks? Conversely, if a moron lays out a program and everyone buys, is the guy in reality a great communicator or is it just the program is so great?

I don't think Obama is all that good as a communicator. Frankly, off prompter, his hmmms and ahhhhs distract me. He has no cadence and worse, he meanders. When he is ON prompter, he is trying to be some great orator enunciating each comment as if the stone masons are working hard to keep up.

His program (Obamacare) is a piece of crap. He could mesmerize listeners and once they see the details of the program, run for the hills.

Nothing that Obama says, or how he speaks can get me buying his POS programs, but that doesn't automatically make him a bad speaker. He is a bad speaker and too many people are giving THAT excuse for Obamacare not getting traction when the POS program is unsaleable to begin with.


mkfreeberg said...

That's a good, intriguing thought.

I've seen an awful lot of horseshit peddled by great communicators, and I've seen some lackluster communicators move some good product by relying on representations of hard fact to get it sold (figures, demonstrations, customer's personal experience). I have yet to see a crappy product sold by a poor communicator, so my tentative conclusion is ya gots ta have one or the other.

Which means of course that we should be wary of "great communicators"...and under this definition I would include the Little Emperor, since if He doesn't have good sales skills, He at least has the rep and He is certainly accustomed to successfully moving bad product. He has His gimmicks, and the gimmicks are enough. He sounds like Walter Cronkite, kinda. He has all these reputations (technically savvy, well-read, etc.) which aren't backed up with hard evidence...but he does have the reps.

Why do we continue to place trust in people like this, knowing full well he has a habit of relying on these reps to sell crap? It's a little like trusting the PC salesman who uses a Mac at home.

Thing I Know #271. Someone please enlighten me on this hero worship for people who are good at selling things. An excellent salesman is useless in selling an adequate product; an adequate salesman will move it just as quick. You only need an excellent salesman to sell a crappy, substandard product, or excessive quantities of a product, that people don’t need. Fact is, if you’re in sales, you want to do a superior job, you want to realize the benefits of being better than the rest, but you also want to deal honestly with people, you’re in the wrong line of work.

Incidentally, those words are not mine, but Taranto's.

mkfreeberg said... which I mean...the words in your post, that you attributed to me.