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Presidential Words Still Matter

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OBAMA BIRTHDAY MOVIES TO WATCH
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A drop in the unemployment rate from 9.2 to 9.1% was a welcomed 50th birthday present for President Obama, along with the new agreement of the FAA and the Air Traffic Controllers approved by Congress. A second birthday present for the president would be for his speech writers to go to a retreat and review some of their ridiculous inane use of the English language to convey the appropriate political message of the president. They should craft a message with words more responsive to the exigent urgent condition of the economy.

"Pivot to jobs"? Give me a break. When your president has the good fortune of having 47% of the people in the country trusting him more with our economy than 37% approval of the Republicans in Congress, there ought to be a more careful choice and use of words; instead of the clap trap his speech writers have written for him or the president has written himself.

The two greatest resources and reservoir for language use and meaning for speech writers are the King James Version of the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare. Some of the greatest writers Obama and his speech writers should revisit, not for their political views, but for examples of how to accurately communicate thoughts with passion and clarity are writers like, John Dos Passos, W.E. B. DuBois, Victor Hugo, James Madison, Wila Cather, Frederick Douglas, Norman Mailer, Thomas Paine, Aime Cesaire, Jack London, James Baldwin, Earnest Hemingway, Maya Angelou, Albert Camus, Tennessee Williams, John Steinbeck, Nora Ephron, Theodore Dreiser, Toni Morrison, Martin Luther King, Jr., Alice Walker, Ralph Ellison, Abraham Lincoln, Joan Didion, etc.

Words to a speech writer are like the colors of different paints and pastels an artist chooses as he or she faces a blank canvass. Obama's speech writers need to dip their heads in the refreshing waters of some of the writers suggested above. This will enable them to better frame the style and content of the message drafted for the president.

The style of speech and content of words used to successfully elect Obama president of the United States are no longer appropriate words or verbal tools under current domestic political and foreign policy circumstances. A new lexicon is needed; otherwise the president runs the risk of sounding "out of touch", "elitist", "contrived" and/or irrelevant.

It would be a serious political error of judgment if the president or his speech writers believe he doesn't need to court or inspire "his base"; that they will vote for him anyway. Yes, they probably will, if they are motivated to go to the polls.

My unscientific view from talking to different groups of people across the country, many of whom voted for Obama, is that there is a disturbing common denominator of disappointment. In some cases, anger at Obama, for not exercising what they call "stronger presidential leadership" in his dealing with the Republicans in Congress. Most will probably vote again for Obama. But they may not, in 2012, again ring the doorbells, use the phones, or pass out leaflets and flyers; or do all those things that they actively did on behalf of his election in 2008.

They will need more to motivate them. The president may raise a lot of money from Wall Street and wealthy contributors, but money alone won't get him re-elected. He needs to re-energize his potential and actual supporters with new words of content and a style of speech that is responsive to the realities of the everyday problems people are facing in this jobless economy; where no more than 58% of the American population is employed, and housing foreclosures continue unabated.

Please me president, using the words, "pivoting to jobs", makes you look like you're leading from behind, not at the forefront, on the frontline fighting to end our jobless crisis.