As Obama removes the bust of Churchill from the Oval office, yet another petulant anti- British gesture, it is interesting to compare the two leaders. Whilst the threat of invading oil slicks is not quite that of invading Germans, the pressure is on.
When we first came to know and admire Obama it was through his power as an orator during the election campaign and at his inauguration. Great words allied to strong storytelling, compelling body language, commanding voice and and mastery of the twin teleprompters allowing him to ‘look’ with confidence from side to side.
Today he is diminished as a comminicator. Caught between oratory and the demands of the press conference he does not have the easy confidence of a Clinton, his words lack authority and too often rely on the convenient whipping boy, BP/ Britain, to score cheap points. He looks less of a leader.
Churchill only had radio, and no teleprompters.
Spellbinding words and still today spine-tingling delivery. These are the final speaking notes for that speech and it is fascinating to see that, without the help of media consultants and a bevy of scriptwriters, Churchill knew how to prepare.
The speech went through two drafts, the first dictated to his secretaries, then revised in longhand and put into blank verse for emphasis and rhythm. Try reading it aloud yourself. See how the layout of the words brings pitch and pace and pause to your delivery.
You may not be a Churchill but neither is Obama.