How A Speech Elevated Four Presidential Candidates To Nomination, And Two Of Them To The White House!

The power of oratory in advancing a political candidacy for the Presidency,that no one expected to occur, is part of American history!

There have been four cases of people who were elevated to a Presidential nomination, and two of them to the White House, by the electrifying effect that a speech had on their political party and the nation at large!

Two of these were Democrats, and two were Republicans.

One of the Democrats was former Nebraska Congressman William Jennings Bryan, who delivered the “Cross of Gold” speech at the 1896 Democratic National Convention, with this leading to his Presidential nomination. Despite losing to William McKinley, Bryan went on to be the nominee of the Democrats two more times, in 1900 and 1908.

The other was Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, who gave a dynamic speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, arguing against a divided America, and calling for a united America, instead of a “red’ America and a “blue” America. It drew attention to him, and after being elected to the US Senate, he decided to campaign for the Presidency, and overcame many adversities to win two terms in the White House, but sadly saw “red” and “blue” America split ever further apart!

The first Republican was businessman Wendell Willkie, who despite no political experience, stirred the Republican National Convention of 1940 with his speech and charisma, and went on to become the nominee of his party, but losing to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Ronald Reagan was the other Republican, making a well noticed speech on television in support of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, the GOP nominee for President in 1964. Goldwater lost in a massive landslide to Lyndon B. Johnson, but Reagan gained enough support and notice to run for California Governor in 1966, and eventually to be elected to two terms as President in the 1980s!

So the power of speech and charisma has had a great effect on American politics!

3 comments on “How A Speech Elevated Four Presidential Candidates To Nomination, And Two Of Them To The White House!

  1. Engineer Of Knowledge August 19, 2014 6:42 am

    Good morning Professor,
    A thought for this morning…..

    1% of the U. S. population owns 95% of the wealth in this country; and they have been able to influence legislation exempting them from paying taxes on that 95% of the nation’s wealth; that means our whole tax burden to operate our country, i.e. fund a police force, education of our children, trash pickup, snow removal, road repair & construction, etc, is all left to operate on taxing the 5% left of the nation’s wealth that is funded by 99% of the population.

    In conclusion, if those of the working middle class whom say they vote Conservative Republican, were offered this deal by a car salesman, they would say the salesman was out of his mind, a fool, or a damn crook!

    I guess you have to admire the marketing plan that sold this corrupt skewed tax plan to the U. S. voting public.

  2. Ronald August 19, 2014 8:42 am

    Engineer, you are absolutely correct, and if the working class and the lower middle class ever get their brain matter together and realize what is happening, there will be a massive collapse of the GOP, but I think it is going to happen eventually, in any case!

    Corporate oligarchy is not far from Fascism, particularly dividing groups by race, gender, sexual orientation, and geographical sections. What the Republican Party has done is unforgivable, to allow themselves to become the old Southern Democratic segregationists, and allow the extremist Christian Right to dictate so much of what they advocate.

    The death of Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont is another nail in the coffin of the GOP, as he was one of the last mainstream, rational Republicans left, and he gave up on the GOP in 2001. A very courageous man indeed, and much to be admired!

  3. Engineer Of Knowledge August 19, 2014 11:19 am

    Yes and to follow up on your comment of allowing the extremist Christian Right to dictate so much of what the current Republicans advocate, I have to reflect on what Robert Green Ingersoll stated on this subject during the “Golden Age of Freethought” when the Republican’s were a thinking man’s Party;
    “It probably will not be long until the churches will divide as sharply upon political, as upon theological questions; and when that day comes, it there are not liberals enough to hold the balance of power, this Government will be destroyed.  The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.