Some reviewers are suggesting the speech was boring and didn’t deal with policy. Well, maybe. I suppose it depends what matters to the listener.
Government is about trust. The fact is, we are going to know almost nothing the president or any member of congress does. We’ll hear about half a dozen issues on which they vote. But they’ll vote on hundreds of bills. Everything depends on whether the person is trustworthy AND competent.
What a political audience wants from a speaker is to be persuaded that he can be trusted. Sometimes rhetoric, narrowly considered, accomplishes that. Sometimes character, the core of rhetoric, is required.
McCain gave me permission to shamelessly love my country again last night, and I appreciate that a lot.
A friend tells me that her daughter doesn’t believe anything politicians say because they’re just political. Well, at least she doesn’t believe in democracy!