CNN's Piers Morgan tried to breathe some life into Obama's flagging presidency Wednesday, maintaining that America "needs" the President to get back in touch with his voters.
"Well, we need some audacity and some hope, I think," the prime-time host professed at the end of the segment, sounding an awful lot like an Obama campaign volunteer. "Yeah, we need the President to reconnect with his voters really, don't we?" he wondered.
Morgan even asked The Atlantic's James Fallows, a former Carter speechwriter, to give Obama some advice. "What advice – if you were writing speeches right now for President Obama, what advice would you give him now to ramp up the rhetoric in an effective way?"
Fallows's recent column, the topic of discussion, covered the rhetorical malaise that hindered President Carter and similar problems that could not bode well for President Obama. Morgan admitted that while President Obama has shown excellent poise in some of his earlier speeches, he seems lost when talking about issues like the economy.
Morgan decried the "listless" and "passionless" rhetoric of the President's economic speeches of late. His guest seemed to agree. "Moreover, for all the areas in which President Obama has been able, very eloquently, to talk to various parts of the American psyche, economics has not really been his natural or strong suit," Fellows opined.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on August 10 at 9:12 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
PIERS MORGAN: You wrote speeches for President Carter, and then when you wrote that memorable article in 1979 you made your feelings pretty clear, I guess, about the way his lack of passion in the end resonated adversely on his presidency. What advice – if you were writing speeches right now for President Obama, what advice would you give him now to ramp up the rhetoric in an effective way?
JAMES FALLOWS, national correspondent, The Atlantic: I think that it's worth recognizing first that this economic challenge is more than purely a rhetorical one. Even Ronald Reagan, great an orator as he was, in 1982, he was not able to really say that the recession of those days was better than it was. But I think that if the President could find ways to talk about economic challenges and economic strains on people and also economic hopes in a way that seems somewhat less arms length from the predicament of ordinary people who have not been to Harvard Law School and don't know friends who are investment bankers and all the rest – that I think is the challenge. And finding ways to use simple stories – not the story of the government as a family but some other story about why we can have hope that measures we're taking now will lead better returns next year and in our children's time.
MORGAN: Yeah, we need the President to reconnect with his voters really, don't we?
FALLOWS: We do. And I think it's a matter that there's among his natural base, there's been a sense that he has not been fighting hard enough for them these last six months, especially when – from their point of view and, frankly, from my point of view – the real narrative is the emergency for America is lack of jobs, lack of demand, the possibility of a new recession, as opposed to the emergency being long-term debt issues, which are an issue but in my view not an emergency. So, finding some ways to tell that story again, and how the challenges of right now can lead to promise later on – that's what all political narratives do, and he is certainly capable of doing that. And so, we'll se what we hear.
MORGAN: Well, we need some audacity and some hope, I think.
- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center