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Evaluation: Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech

Now, it’s President Obama’s turn. As with Governor Romney’s acceptance speech, I’m not going to talk about the political issues or do any fact-checking. I’m just looking at how effectively President Obama gave his speech.

The challenge incumbents face in a reelection is that they start off on defense. They must convince voters to keep them in office. Their entire record for the past term is up for scrutiny, and every stumble is a target for attack. In contrast, their opponent is an unknown. If enough people are dissatisfied with the way things are, they will be tempted to get rid of the old and try something new. This is why in my lifetime, three presidents failed in their reelection campaigns (Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush).

The best defense is a good offense, and that was the approach President Obama used in his acceptance speech.

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How to apologize

I just finished reading an excellent book, Good Self, Bad Self by Judy Smith. She is a crisis management expert who is the basis of Kerry Washington’s character in the ABC series Scandal. She shows how personality traits like ego, ambition, and accommodation can lead people to success, but also cause tremendous downfalls. She not only provides well-known examples like Tiger Woods, Bernie Madoff, and Dennis Kozlowski, she shows examples from the setbacks of ordinary people. Her advice can benefit the (in)famous and non-so-famous alike.

One of most useful pieces of information she shares is how to apologize. Tiger Woods is one example of how an apology is an important first step in rebuilding a tarnished reputation — but only when it is done sincerely and properly. Here is what Judy Smith teaches about giving an apology.

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Evaluation: Mitt Romney’s Acceptance Speech

The keys to an inspirational speech are to understand the audience’s moods and needs and address them. In that respect, Mitt Romney did a great job in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

In my evaluation, I’m not going to talk about the political issues or do any fact-checking. There is no shortage of people doing that. I’m just taking a look at how effectively he gave his speech.

Going into tonight’s speech, Governor Romney must have been aware of all of the image problems he and his party have. He is portrayed as too rich and out of touch to care about the needs of ordinary Americans. His party is seen as hostile to women (no doubt that the comments by Todd Akin and others contributed to this). The Republicans have also been blamed for the deadlock in Washington by being hostile to the president and willing for the country to fail so that President Obama would fail (no doubt that the comments by most of the speakers at the convention and Clint Eastwood’s bit with the chair contributed to this.)

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Politics: “Let’s have a good, clean fight.”

Although the US presidential election campaign has been going on since, well, the last presidential campaign ended, we’re getting into the thick of it now. The Republican National Convention is this coming week (hurricane permitting). The Democrats will follow after that. We will then have debates, robocalls, and the most horrific campaign ads we’ve seen since Daisy. After all that, we American citizens are expected to pick a president and whatever nutty running mate he’s bringing along.

And as one of those citizens who will cast a vote, I’d like to ask that those politicians follow three simple rules.

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So, what happened to your Web site?

I’ll let my hosting company explain why my Web site hasn’t been available the past few days:

Your…webspace has been attacked by criminals. As a consequence of this attack, your webspace has been misused to send Spam.

Just as criminals like these have made lots of things nowadays inconvenient or frustrating, I had to make a few changes to my site for added security.

First, I deleted all user accounts. Most of them were set up in recent days to process SPAM. This may mean that some previously posted comments and subscription were deleted. If one of those is yours, I apologize. I am looking at implementing a different comment system using Facebook. This will add greater security and enable you to link your profile to your comments.

Some pages may still have problems as I repair the site. If you come across such a problem, please send me a direct message on Twitter.

It’s unfortunate that the criminals of the world ruin the fun for everyone. I will continue to work to make the site more useful for you as readers as I make it more secure. Thank you for your patience and understanding.