The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

October 6, 2012

Slate: Why presidents don't need to be great public speakers

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Presidents are not supposed to be motivated by polls. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie argued this point at the Republican National Convention: "You see, Mr. President — real leaders don't follow polls. Real leaders change polls." That's not exactly true. Successful presidents all credit their ability to figure out where the country was headed and then rush to the front to organize the parade. Lincoln not only managed by wandering around, he used to take what he called "public opinion baths," gauging the public's attitude about a particular issue before he made a decision. FDR famously said "I cannot go any faster than the people will let me."

Reagan was a masterful communicator, in part because he didn't try to force the country to go in a direction it didn't want to go. He managed tax cuts and reductions in government spending that met the desires of a conservative wave in the country. Reagan's talent was to give voice (and easily repeatable aphorisms) to the country's mood. (They are still being repeated at GOP rallies today, where I'm with the government and I'm here to help you is a ready laugh line.) The economic success of Reagan's term ratified the ideas behind it — smaller government and the belief that tax cuts lead to economic growth — but his ability to communicate branded those ideas to the times more than simple prosperity could.

Bill Clinton, whose skills connecting with the American people are legendary, nevertheless faced a series of stinging defeats early on. But he learned his lesson after the Republicans took over Congress in 1994. He immediately started supporting a number of small provisions — from encouraging school uniforms to V-chips that would block offensive programming on television — that had wide popular appeal. The triangulation he practiced in which he supported positions in the middle against the extremes of both parties gave him a series of victories that matched the public mood. By offering the public what they wanted, Clinton realigned his presidency with the majority. It wasn't Clinton's words that won people over. It was the policies, stupid.

Text Only
Lifestyles
  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Clinton Herald Jim Miller Low-cost, free cellphone options for seniors DEAR SAVVY SENIOR: What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling SeniorDEAR SELDOM: For financially challenged seniors who only want a cell pho

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • YWCA offers lifeguard training

    CLINTON — The YWCA will offer lifeguard training in August.The course will be held from Aug. 4 to 10 at the YWCA. This 30-hour class will meet from 5 to 9 p.m. for four weeknights and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. A possibility of adding a class from 1

    July 25, 2014

  • GPS race Teams race to complete challenges THOMSON, Ill. — A challenge in August will pit teams against each other to complete a series of challenges.The event will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 16 at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Thomson. Armed with GPS units, teams

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Habitat for Humanity hosts fundraiser

    CLINTON — Habitat for Humanity will host a fundraiser in Thomson, Illinois.The Clinton County group will showcase Laid Back Luau from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, at Heirloom Cafe in Thomson. The event will feature games, prizes, music train rides for

    July 25, 2014

  • Fire departments undergo grain bin rescue training OMAHA — The Goose Lake and Lost Nation Volunteer Fire Departments each have received lifesaving grain bin rescue equipment through a donation from Farm Credit Services of America.Goose Lake received its equipment July 14 and Lost Nation on July 15. E

    July 24, 2014

  • ADM donates $75K for fire boat purchase CLINTON — Archer Daniels Midland Company has donated $75,000 to the city of Clinton for a new fire and rescue boat for the Clinton Fire Department.The boat will help the fire department respond to fires, administer emergency medical services and resp

    July 24, 2014

  • Students get first-hand look at non-profits CLINTON — An upcoming event will showcase Clinton area’s non-profits to incoming Ashford University students.The second Fresh START (Serving to Achieve Results Together) event will be held Saturday, Aug. 16. Students and staff members will serve at v

    July 23, 2014

  • Friend of the Fair Two honored as 'Friends' MORRISON, Ill. — The Whiteside County Fair recently announced its 2014 Friend of the Fair. Paul Vock and Dan Heusinkveld are this year’s honorees. The two men have been involved with the fair for decades.Vock started with the fair in 1971 as the Heav

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bice Nurses earn Daisy awards

    CLINTON — Two Clinton nurses recently earned Daisy awards.Mercy Medical Center nurses Jodie Atkinson and Kristen Bice earned the awards that is rewarded to extraordinary nurses. Atkinson began her career in nursing at Mercy Medical Center in 1995 on

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.