Advancing a Free Society

The GOP's Not-So-Great Communicators

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Although a lot of Republicans keep wishing otherwise, running the federal government is nothing at all like running a business. Presidents don't hire or fire members of Congress, and only a few thousand of the more than one million civilians that the federal government employs serve at the chief executive's pleasure. An aptitude for reviewing business plans or a talent for wooing investors—useless.

Presidents must instead govern by getting the rest of us to see things they way they see them. They need to interest, move and compel us. In a word, they need to be good speakers.

Which brings us to Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and the rest of the GOP field. As the candidates continue their scramble, a scorecard:

Test One: Does anybody really want to listen to this person?

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