Wattree on Mandela: Homeward Bound
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
Ramona On Martin Bashir
While I'm not going to vote for you I certainly don't want Santorum to get the nomination because in an American Idol electorate like we have, a fluke could happen and Santorum would be a much worse option than you. So I'm offering you a few pointers on your speech, your body language, the telling of homilies---and suggesting you spend at least one weekend at Outward Bound.
The first thing you need to do is slow down your presentation. You look flighty, and fidgety, like you need to go to the bathroom. Stop all that. Stop looking like you know everyone in the audience---you don't, and you can't. It looks disingenuous. The best presenters pick one person in the audience and stay with him or her. A good speaker will have an image or person in mind. I would suggest Todd Palin, he is today's Mr. Republican, not you. He's the voter you need to hang onto.
The jeans aren't doing it for me. Workers wear 501's. Maybe women like your jeans, don't know about that. But here's the thing. You keep spinning and dancing on your toes in your tight jeans. A boxer can do that but your shoulders and chest are too slim. You need to spread your feet further apart, plant them ,and square your shoulders. And no more putting your hands in the pockets of your suit pants when you're debating, looks like a car salesman that you know ahead of time is going to rip you off.
Notice I used the term "suit pants"---which is a term that is used by your voting constituency when they go to a wedding, funeral, or are forced to take their wives to an Anniversary dinner. The rest of the time they wear work jeans, not designer jeans with a crease down the front. Dancing on the stage is the last thing you should do if the opposition is already defining you as a weather vane.
About your singing, that was interesting. You were pitchy but I'm not so worried about that. What was evident was that you don't know about your diaphragm---now don't get nervous, it's something both men and women have and it is what controls the strength of the voice as well as the conviction---because it relates to the solar plexus, the center of being. A good speech coach can on a weekend teach you to speak from your center instead of forming all your words from the throat up. Notice how Santorum is taking more time and reaching for the lower baritone range. You have a great, fixable, baritone voice but you need to learn how to use it. Try to find out which speech coach Santorum is using.
You blew the story about your father being a lath/plaster/carpenter apprentice. Even Steve Rattner, easily your equal as a Finance guy, picked up on it. Too short, didn't make sense, didn't milk it. For one thing Todd would know that these are three separate trades, so would many others you are trying to reach. I actually worked for a lath man who was a subcontractor to my Dad's building company. My Dad thought I should earn as much as I could in my Summers off from college, so I became a lath man's assistant---three months of hand fulls of nails in the mouth. The whole point about putting nails in your mouth is to keep your hands free while you position a chunk of lath board. Then you hold it in place with an elbow and knee while you spit a nail into your free hand, point first, and give it a hit with a lath hammer.
"By the way did you all know they actually sterilized those nails for that exact purpose, for that specific trade? It's sad to see those old trades disappear, isn't it....like a real master plasterer...such fine craftsmanship. Today, it's all drywall and paint---not saying anything's wrong with that, but sometimes we miss the old days. We have a bright future ahead if we....." It makes a story, not a half-baked example.
I have an MBA, although I wasn't a Baker Scholar like you. I respect that. I wouldn't have lasted a year trying to compete with a guy like you. I have worked in mostly small companies, and for some reason I have a penchant for the back lots of small industrial plants---not the front office, and not for Corporate Finance.
And here we get to the nub of the problem. The reason you look like a quick in and out hair tonic salesmen is that you are subconsciously categorizing your audience, you are so far removed from their life experience that you know you can't connect, so you try to perform like a stand up comic. I'm not sure how you correct this problem. Maybe that's where a wilderness experience would come in handy.
I suggest a kind of national media sensation where you are dropped off in the middle of a wilderness with just the basics: Swiss army knife, three fish hooks, some line, and a jar of Zeke's "Balls of Fire" fish egg bait, a rain jacket, 1 lb. of smoked cheese, one quart of water and purification pills, and, I'm cutting you a break, a small survival guide. Maybe you could parachute in, that would be very gutsy.
The media would be focused for a week on where and if you're going to survive it. You might actually not make it, but consider the alternative, if you don't exhibit some personal adversity a snot nose kid like Rick Santorum might win the nomination. If you come out alive, you'll win the nomination, and quite possibly a lot more. You are a guy who appears never to have faced adversity, abjectly so, and it doesn't resonate with Todd Palin---who broke his leg during a race but still finished and won the Iron Man.
Well, Obama didn't appear to have faced much adversity either, but he's already in office and you are not.
It's not that you can't deliver a quick quip. You finished Perry off with the very first Al Gore quip. Gingrich doesn't hold up well when he's not berating a debate moderator. But Santorum is finding his strength and part of it is in his speech. I don't know if you saw the movie, available on DVD, the "King's Speech". It was over dramatized, but it's relevant to you. Watching you on stage is painful. But your problem is fixable. Not everything in this life is about religion, family and finance. Some of life is under a car, on a Greyhound bus, or climbing up a rock face where you think you can't keep going but the alternative is dying overnight in sub zero temperature.