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* * * 2008 * * * : Obama Compared to Best American Speakers
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From: Shadowfax  (Original Message)Sent: 11/5/2008 8:18 PM
Obama Compared To Best American Speakers

One of the most popular videos on YouTube in the past six months is then-Sen. Barack Obama’s 37-minute speech on race that he gave in March.

It’s been viewed more than 5 million times.

“It’s amazing that in our sound-bite culture, people are watching this,?said Ronald Greene, a professor of communication studies at the University of Minnesota. “He’s doing long speeches and he’s demanding our attention.

"He will truly be a president who understands the power of oratory."

Few political figures possess Obama’s capability to draw people in with their speaking, a trait that will be tested when President Obama must hold the nation together in difficult times.

Greene said many may be tempted to compare Obama’s style to Bill Clinton or Martin Luther King Jr. However, their speaking styles are not necessarily similar.

He said Clinton’s ability was to make you feel close to him, but Obama stands above his audience without being condescending.

“Clinton was part of the crowd. Obama gives a proper distance between him and his audience,?Greene said. “Some call it cool or aloof, but he gives off a sense of standing. It’s very presidential. That’s where the celebrity criticisms come from.?BR>
Others have also compared Obama’s speechmaking capabilities to King, but Greene said it’s not coming from the same place.

“Obama does not come from the southern black church like King ?he’s more lawyerly and deliberative,?Greene said. “His cadence and rhythms are not the same, but on an inspirational level, he’s channeling King.?BR>


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