The Making of President Perry

perry-rick2Very interesting developments in the evolution of Rick Perry. He’s managed to shoot to the top of the Republican field with little effort. Mitt Romney is left in the dust along with Michele Bachman and all the rest. It would seem that he’s doing so well with the GOP because he’s capturing the anger, the vitriol of the “Tea Party” faction of the party while at the same time exuding electability. Is he going to be able to pull off a Reagan, where he says crazy, wacky things and no one notices because he’s so charming and disarming? Or is he doing so well simply because he’s the anti-Obama, who, sadly, is seeming more and more like a one-termer.

SOTU on MN Public Radio

Appeared today as a guest on Midmorning with Kerri Miller, a program on Minnesota Public Radio, to talk about the SOTU. Some interesting conversation, particularly about the dissemination and interpretation of the speech via social media. You can listen to the program here.


I was particularly thrilled to learn, via Facebook, that my brother-in-law and his daughter, who live in Minnesota, actually listened to the program–and they didn’t even know I was scheduled as a guest. People really do listen to public radio.

Stump & Policy Speech Rubrics

Here’s a rubric for COMM 455-655 students preparing the stump speeches. Hopefully it will provide a useful checklist as you prepare the speeches for submission.

Stump Speech Rubric

And here’s the rubric for the second speech assignment, the policy speech: Policy Speech Rubric.

Justin Snow also provided an interesting link to a Washington Post article from 2008 that dissects the “anatomy” of an Obama stump speech.

The Rubber Hits the Road

DionneE.J. Dionne is fast becoming my favorite columnist–and today’s column is one of the reasons why. Dionne argues that Democrats are typically held to a different standard after they lose an election–progressives are supposed to become more centrist, more moderate, more conservative. Republicans, Dionne maintains, never face the same problem.

Bipartisan CommissionI read this as I pondered the proposals from the bipartisan commission on deficit reduction and, more seriously, the objections to those proposals from Republicans who, just a few weeks ago, were screaming about cutting government spending. OK–let’s go–get to work. Cut defense spending, like the commission recommends. Simplify the tax code. Raise the retirement age. Cut COLA increases for Social Security.

In short, why hasn’t the Tea Party and all the rest of the GOPers who seem to think the government has gotten too large, immediately embraced these proposals? And absent that response, shouldn’t progressives step up, hold to their views, and not be bullied anymore by election results and Tea Partiers?