How to Spot a Phony Political Speech

It’s the height of political speech season, and I thought I’d share with you my simple rule for spotting a phony one:

If the speech could have been given in any other place with just slight revisions for local effect, then it’s phony. It’s generic feel-good pap, and unworthy.

As Exhibit A, I offer this modified excerpt from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech delivered Tuesday night in Denver:

Tonight we need to remember what a [Presidential, Congressional, Parliamentary, Prime Ministerial, etc.] election is really about. When the polls have closed, and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you — the [American, German, French, Japanese, etc.] people, your lives, and your children’s futures.

For me, it’s been a privilege to meet you in your homes, your workplaces, and your communities. Your stories reminded me everyday that [name of country]‘s greatness is bound up in the lives of the [American, German, French, Japanese, etc.] people — your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children, and your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.

You taught me so much, you made me laugh, and . . . you even made me cry. You allowed me to become part of your lives. And you became part of mine.

. . .

You never gave in. You never gave up. And together we made history.

Wow, great stuff — anywhere on Earth.

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