Fred Thompson’s comment "We just got our ticket to the next dance," reminds to say a brief word on the language used by both Huckabee and Thompson, and why it appeals to folks. Romney (and Hillary) speak in platitudes and abstractions, and this, in large measure, explains why their campaigns don’t seem to have energy. Their words don’t bring forth images. They are too abstract, stiff, cold. Her rhetoric always gives the impression that she is talking at you, rather than having a conversation with you. A candidate should be able to talk with people in a way that also gives the (honest) impression that he is having a conversation with not only them, but also with himself. This mode verges on poetry, not just rhetoric. I recollect Fred Thompson’s statement a few days ago that although he wanted to be president he really didn’t like campaigning (Peter Lawler noticed this); he was questioning himself, hence seemed very honest, authentic. (That it was misunderstood by the MSM is another matter).
Hillary is the best example of cold talk, but Romney is not far behind. This nis what folks mean by "boring." She can’t inspire. She also does not tell stories, or doesn’t tell them well (also true of Edwards, who tells a few, but they’re always brought forth by anger). This, I assert, is one of the reasons why Huckabee and Thompson are liked (and is also related to why Obama is liked, but that is a more complicated story) and explains why their supporters are more enthusiastic and why such candidates are said to be more "authentic." I don’t mean to say that the candidates’ positions, etc., don’t have anything to do with it, but "white papers" can’t seduce, only spoken words can in a campaign. And those words become part of the person who speaks them, and as that person seems comfortable is speaking, he pulls the listener towards him, in every way. I think this is worth paying attention to, especially as we are coming out of an era in which (unfortunately) our president doesn’t seem able to speak thus in public (in private, I am told, is another matter). This also explains my bias toward southerners and westerners, their talk is more enlivened, vivid, full of metaphors, more human. Do you think this dog hunts?