The Bully Pulpit Is Taken

Never has a President-elect wrested the reins of communication so fast. In less than a week Barack Obama has already taken hold of the Bully Pulpit – that very real lightning rod of power of the presidency.


  • Obviously because Obama is an outstanding communicator. That is now a given, and people expect him to speak out clearly, and with force.
  • Bush gave up the Bully Pulpit long ago. His voice as one of power and influence has long since been weakened, and is now almost irrelevant. Astounding for a U.S. President.
  • The Obama people (and thus their leader) appear very smart. They ran a very competent campaign, and they are not slowing down. They are being immediately proactive on several communication fronts – media, internet, Obama appearances, key appointments that make impact, etc.

So power doesn’t really shift for more than two months, on January 20th. But it already has.

Proving once again that the effectiveness of a President’s communication determines the effectiveness of his presidency.

Transformational Election – Transformational Speech!

A rare moment of opportunity and execution came together in the Presidential Election and the victory speech. The election itself was transformational – that’s not for this blog to expound as there are enough others talking, blogging and twittering over that major event. Barack Obama gave a once in a … Continue reading

Obama McCain – Who won the debate

This was John McCain’s debate to win or lose. He did not win it. Considering the political climate, John McCain had to do extremely well, and Barack Obama had to falter. Neither happened. Obama won the debate just on this issue alone. If you consider the behavior, trust, believability and … Continue reading

Three Lessons from Obama…

We can all learn from Barack Obama’s acceptance speech: 1. The effectiveness of our communications determines the effectiveness of our lives. Barack lost his first election to the Illinois House in 2000, won his first election in 2004 to the US Senate from Illinois, and in 2008 is the likely … Continue reading

The Best Debate since Kennedy-Nixon

The First Debate – Rick Warren with Obama and McCain OK, it wasn’t a debate, it was better! It was historic and was what a debate should actually be – insightful, candid, conversational – where we can see the character and personality of the candidates as well as their views. … Continue reading

Dick Cavett on Communicating

Dick Cavett calls out the Presidential candidates, and has most of it right! Read his article in the New York Times here – it has great insights on speaking and communicating. Written in his own humorous style, as a comedian he rightly emphasizes humor. And he tells stories –  well. … Continue reading

The Speaking Style of Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King’s Speaking Style, and Obama and McCain and Jobs As we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday, we are reminded what a great man he was, and what a great communicator. I have posted before on his speaking style and the use of the great rhetorical and oratorical devices … Continue reading

Communication Wins Again

The Presidential Primaries are great cauldrons to see communications impact in action. We can learn a lot, as the public platform emphasizes positives and negatives that relate to our everyday speaking. And NOW the newscasters are talking about the importance of likability and authenticity. It’s ALWAYS about likability and authenticity, … Continue reading