In merely the last hour I have heard 189 cable-news commentators remark that Hillary has a "high bar" to hurdle in her speech tonight, given last night. Will she make it? Will the morning reviews be favorable? The suspense, as they say, mounts; or, at least, such is cable news's intent.
I can give you early, guaranteed answers. Yes and yes. How can I be so confident? Because Hillary has professional writers, for God's sake. How could her speech be anything but rhetorical gold when modern politicians — some of them presidential nominees — hire professional wordsmiths? Even verbal klutzes such as George W. Bush received reasonably good reviews after his major speeches, for he had more than reasonably good writers (ideology aside) putting his speeches together.
This wasn't always the case for presidents, of course. For instance I once had a fascinating lunch with a very elderly gentleman who had helped FDR write some of his fireside chats. Yet the gentleman was no stylist. He was a professional economist of classic New Dealism. He provided the talks' substance but FDR provided the style in his radio delivery. (He added style in public appearances; since he needed his hands to grip the podium, he developed that special, FDR-head-swinging technique for dramatic visual effect.) Jefferson and Lincoln (especially Jefferson) were inadequate speakers, but they excelled at style in the written word. Obama? He is nearly sui generis in the annals of presidential speechifying. He does hire writers, naturally, for he's a modern politician. Yet he can do both — he can do both rhetorical style and vocal delivery — like a pro.
But back to Hillary. Don't worry. Professionals have her back; she will hurdle tonight's "high bar" just fine. I guarantee it.
I swear I choked up when I heard this woman accept her party's nomination for the presidency of the United States.