Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Eloquence Defined

Posted by Mike on February 24, 2008

Peggy Noonan, unquestionably a brilliant wordsmith and speechwriter, has been off her game ever since President Bush’s second inaugural. In the past few months however, Noonan has noticed circumstances that should be obvious but are somehow overlooked. Her latest column on Barack Obama is an excellent example.

Obama’s claim to fame since 2004 has been his oratory skills. Some have even called it eloquence. Not Peggy Noonan though.

Mr. Obama is magnetic, interacts with the audience, leads a refrain: “Yes, we can.” It’s good, and compared with [She Who Must Not Be Named] and John McCain, neither of whom seems really to enjoy giving speeches, it comes across as better than it is. But is it eloquence? No. Eloquence is deep thought expressed in clear words. With Mr. Obama the deep thought part is missing. What is present are sentiments.

As has been the case in recent months, Noonan has pointed out the obvious, which has somehow been overlooked by the chattering class. In a year when language may be crucial, McCain would be wise not to overlook Peggy Noonan.  When Noonan writes, to paraphrase Deval Patrick Barack Obama, it really is more than “just words.”

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