February 24th, 2009
11:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Gergen: Speech gets an A, but the rhetoric didn't soar

(CNN) - For political impact, the President deserves a strong A for his speech tonight - it was inspiring, spoke to the chief concerns most Americans appear to have about his economic program, and explained the bailouts for banks and autos in terms that were very understandable.

It was also the most ambitious speech that we have heard from a President in decades - the first half sounded like FDR fighting for the New Deal, the second half, Lyndon Johnson fighting for the Great Society. Rhetorically, I thought the speech was a B - it had very little music. Clearly, as he himself said, he wanted to speak plainly and until near the end, he avoided soaring language. In short, I don't think it will find its way into an anthology of great speeches, but it will serve the President extremely well with the public.

Filed under: Obama address
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Darren D.

    Mr. Gergen, Pres Obama is here TODAY! U have to tell Me, 44 U.S. President, "IS PRES OBAMA "44th"!

    February 25, 2009 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
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