Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Union 2010

For ABC-TV Chicago Channel 7 a.m. news:
1. Style of the State of the Union was illustrated by the President's wildly praised speaking skills. One exception was a thumping of his hands on the podium picked up by the mic. However, if you conduct a readability analysis of the grade level of the speech you can see why the President is working harder to get his message across. I used Microsoft's Word Flesch-Kincaid) scoring ( The President and his team of David Axelrod- senior advisor, Jon Favreau - speech writer and Mona Sutphen -policy advisor crafted a speech scoring at the 6th to 7th grade level. His speech in 2009 was at the 9th grade level. For a point of history, John Kennedy's 1962 State of the Union was at the 12th grade level. The scoring is meant to provide some guidance to edit your talk or paper to be more understandable by the audience. A speech for a national audience on TV should not use so many long sentences and words that it is difficult to follow.

He also changed his strategy to refer to existing bills on a range of topics that were passed by the House. He charged the Senate to act on their own or the House bills. His strategy on jobs and several specific bills supporting jobs (tax breaks for small business) showed his growth as a leader. If he gets only a few of the more than a dozen recommendations; he will be miles ahead of 2009 stalled efforts. As a relatively inexperienced lobbyist himself, he failed to work with the Congress to secure healthcare repairs. He needs to learn that only a tiny fraction of bills pass (8%) even when he commands them for his desk. His key points on education again threatened traditional and over-priced university degrees, power and this mix-master of issues tossed in at the end seem presidential, but expensive.

The Republican effort was weak (again). They smartly added the most enthusiastic diverse audience I have ever seen to applaud stiff and too new to office Governor McDonnel after each cliche. The Governor was stiff and too new to office to carry the mantle of the GOP. All he could do under the thumb of Republican strategists was to mention the President's agenda and a tired Republican retort.

We don't need all of the President's legislative wish list. The President needs to secure some his wish list. What we need are jobs, lower taxes on smaller businesses and a modified health care system.

No comments: