I have often thought the lost art of oratory was in need of revival. Or, more accurately, an orator need come on the scene. Ronald Reagan came closest of anyone in recent times. I tend to see him more as a presenter. Clinton was considered by some to be a communicator. I’ve never quite figured out exactly what that means. My best guess would be something akin to “hot air merchant”. Both Bushes, Jimmy Carter, Nixon, Truman, Eisenhower could barely choke out a simple declarative sentence. I’m thinking more along the line of FDR (who my folks despised) or a Winston Churchill. For good or evil these men could rouse the sleeping spirit to action. Obama, it appears, is an orator. Empty rhetoric perhaps, but an orator nonetheless.

I recall conversations with a friend of mine; an advertising man from my era. He spoke of the art of message delivery-cum-oratory. He loved to compare Demosthenes and Aeschines. He claimed when Aeschines spoke, people remarked; “what a wonderful speech.” But, when Demosthenes spoke they cried out; “let us march against Phillip!” It would appear the populace is less moved by substance than by style. A fact of life regardless of the era.

Obama fills a need the public has to be inspired and motivated. I remember well the feeling we all had when we heard; “We will fight in the air, we will fight on the beaches, we will fight on the land! We will never give up, never give up, never!”

Would that McCain could turn some of his legendary inner rage into oratory which got thinking people off their butts and into the the streets. “To the ramparts! The enemy is upon us!”