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You've actually touched on a fine point

Reader comment on item: Giuliani's Fresh Start
in response to reader comment: Voted for Bush

Submitted by MisterH (United States), Oct 20, 2007 at 08:39

I am probably one of the few people on this (mostly foreign policy conservative) blog who does not think that history will look kindly upon our current president, though I do think there will be democracy in countries like Syria, Lebanon, and Oman one day. I certainly agree with you on Bush's lack of charisma and public speaking skills. This is no strike against people with opposing political views. I take an even-handed position here.

Ronald Reagan had great public speaking and leadership skills, and I say this in spite of disagreeing with many of his domestic policies, the fact that he didn't mention the word "AIDS" in public until term #2 notwithstanding. John F. Kennedy had both great public speaking and leadership skills, both of which he would've put to even greater use had he not been gunned down in '63. Richard Nixon, for all he did both right and wrong, had these skills as well. The same is true of Teddy Roosevelt and FDR. George W. Bush does not have the powerful public presence of a great leader. THAT, ladies and gentleman, is his main problem...Not Iraq, not the Arab/Israeli conflict, not the Taliban, not Katrina, not health care, and not global warming, though most of these are certainly up there.

I've always believed that in order to be an influential leader, you had to have good oratory skills, especially if you aren't a brialliant economic, military, or political visionary. This is one of the things that influential leaders, both good (Mandela, Walesa, DeGaulle, Churchill, Lincoln) and evil (Mao, Stalin, Mussolini, Lenin, and Hitler) have in common. The problem with Bush in this sense is that when he opens his mouth, people don't take him seriously. It doesn't matter whether you are on Capitol Hill or protesting in the streets of Tehran and burning effigies of Uncle Sam. This, in the long haul, is Bush's biggest problem... If you are going to be a great leader, you can't be on center stage looking dazed and confused. Otherwise, people all over the world will poke fun at you and laugh at you. It doesn't matter whether you are a populist, a dictator, a conservative, a liberal, a republican, a democrat, a fascist, a communist, or even the pope.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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