Thurs., Aug 11: Deconstructing Obama

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Deconstructing Obama

In a recent piece for The New York Times, Drew Westen, a professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation, offers an in-depth analysis of what has gone wrong with President Obama. Westen cites Obama’s rhetorical failings as the main culprit. This may come as a surprise considering Obama’s 2004 speech at the DNC is what landed him in the national spotlight. But here—in Westen’s words- is where Obama is getting it all wrong.

“When he wants to be, the president is a brilliant and moving speaker, but his stories virtually always lack one element: The villain who caused the problem, who is always left out, described in impersonal terms, or described in passive voice, as if the cause of others’ misery has no agency and hence no culpability.”

Today we get Drew Westen’s take on how Obama can reclaim the rhetorical flair that got him into the White house --the rhetorical flair that could keep him there for another term.

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