March 31, 2008

Should we listen to Bill and chill?

Mr. Clinton’s consummate storytelling skills were evident during his “Chill Out” speech yesterday in Missoula. He chose the forum to educate Democrats regarding the current “vigorous debate” over whether Senator Clinton’s refusal to withdraw from the race is hurting the Democratic primary.

As children, we were imprinted with the “Once upon a time” formula, and Mr. Clinton worked that formula to perfection yesterday. In this case, his “Once upon a time,” was, “On June 2, 1992, when I won the Democratic primary, I had been so chewed up…” etc.

At this point we are told how the big bad wolf, — in this instance Ross Perot– entered the forest.

Thankfully, however, the situation was saved. But not, he notes– and this is really where you see his gift– not by Candidate Clinton, the hero, but by YOU: “Six weeks later when the Democratic Convention opened– thanks to you, and many people like you– Al Gore and I were in first place.”

That pause before “thanks to you” is what’s known in my business as ‘the reveal’– our hearts swell as he lets us in, and makes us one, with his victory.

Did Bill C. unveil the right idea, in the right way, at the right moment– or was it too little, too late? I look forward to your thoughts.

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