Barack Obama has always been a good speaker. He mixes his personal story with ideological content effectively and understands well how to communicate and push forward initiatives. He ought to the be a role model on speaking for people striving to attain high office who don’t have an awe-inspiring resume. He is most definitely Kamala Harris’ role model. But Harris lacks one key element – genuine depth – and it comes out nearly every time she speaks.
Many of the Presidents of the United States in the 20th century were not known for extraordinary depth when they spoke. But, nearly all had genuine depth. Ronald Reagan, who was the President when Kamala Harris came of age, was an extremely effective speaker who knew how to skirt a tough issue better than nearly anyone else. Many thought that he was not a particularly intelligent President. They were wrong. He had depth and focus and never wavered on the matters he set out to achieve.
Reagan wanted to defeat Communism – not merely contain it. He wanted to lower taxes and shrink the central government and achieved all of his goals. He was so focused that even in the waning years of his Presidency, when he was slowing down, he continued his focus on his goals and basically led the United States to victory in the Cold War against Communism.
There were other Presidents who did not communicate as well as Reagan, Kennedy, Clinton, or FDR – all of whom were great communicators. Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. Bush, LBJ, and Richard Nixon were never the best communicators. But, each came with messages that would define their Presidencies and their legacies. Ford brought a more unifying business as usual form of leadership following the tumultuous sixties and impeachment of the President. Carter found his focus during his Presidency as the human rights President. George H. Bush was the voice of prudence during the fall of Communism and the Persian Gulf War. LBJ expanded government programs massively and pushed through civil rights initiatives that changed America. Nixon worked to stabilize the Far East and bring America out of Vietnam while not giving in to Communism.
Kamala Harris is nothing like any of these great people who were not great communicators. There are no signature issues or ideas that she focuses on. She is not even convincing when she speaks about Joe Biden. Everyone remembers what she said on the debate stage when she attacked him mercilessly and almost brought down his chance for election.
The Democrat Party must search for other leaders – even if it means looking outside of the political sphere. Businessmen and businesswomen are often better options than politicians for High Office.