If I was a producer of the upcoming Democratic Party convention in North Carolina, I would bag all the speeches all week. Nobody really wants to hear more speeches from professional talkers. The leaders of the Democratic Party should take the opportunity of having heightened public attention to SHOW the viewing or listening public what the difference is between the records, values, and beliefs of the two candidates for president. They should do this in clever, smart presentations with a sense of humor where appropriate. No empty chairs, however.
Some of the best things I have seen on the Web in the past year are the policy teach-ins by economist and former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich in which he talks along with animated graphics that distill the essense of his message. I think these are very effective.
President Obama used to teach in Chicago. He taught Constitutional Law. He should roll up his sleeves and show viewers and voters what he has done and where he wants to take the country. I am a big supporter of the President, and I don’t want to hear another speech. I know he can make an uplifting speech, but the people who care about what is going on want him to talk up to them about what is at stake. He will have everyone’s attention for about an hour this coming week. He should use it well. Mitt Romney dragged out a white board two weeks ago and flubbed the chance to sketch out his argument. He wrote a couple of words on it.
With bunches of entertainment industry people and so many teachers in America pulling for President Obama, he should be able to get the best advice in the country on how to present his case. Use media. Use graphics. Use animation. Use imagery. Video. Film. Music. The benefits will multiply because the short presentations will proliferate on social media. Network and cable TV programs will run the packages in full or part. There will be enough talking for the next ten weeks. There will be stump speeches and televised debates and too many ads. Do the Ross Perot thing and roll up the sleeves, lift the hood, and show what is going on with the engine. Break the mold of party convention behavior. Walk out in shirtsleeves and figuratively pull down a screen to start the lesson. America wants to know.