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3.26.2004

A/B Comparisons: They're Good for You!

I was listening to NPR at lunch today, and was struck by something. John Kerry's speech is very formal, in a style that has been out of vogue since, I think, Nixon's resignation. I'm talking about the stage-tuned modulations that began to die out as soon as political questions were argued on television instead of in newspapers or on radio. The fact that since Carter, at least, the presidential tone has been one of plain-spoken folksiness rather than that of traditional oratory makes me wonder what the general reaction will be when the two candidates meet in debate. Will Kerry's formal cadences be off-putting to the increasingly informal American ear or will people think of FDR and the first JFK? Will Bush's halting twang sound honest or ignorant when contrasted with, not Gore's SID-chip speech-synthesis, but Kerry's turn of the century style?

Speaking of things that John Kerry reminds one of, there's this fellow.

Posted by Doug Brown
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