Sunday, March 3, 2013

Three Speeches That Led To Political Greatness For Relative Unknowns;Lincoln's Cooper Union (Reviewed),Bryan's Cross Of Gold (Recorded),Palin 2008 Convention (Highlights)

Here is a recording of William Jennings Bryan recreating his "Cross Of Gold" speech which he electrified the 1896 Democratic Party convention with. The speech took Bryan from relative obscurity as a young former Nebraskan congressman, to being the party's nominee, unexpectedly and overnight. The speech is given an introductory narration which explains the historical, and more importantly economic reasons behind the Bryan phenomenon. But, cometh the hour cometh the man as is proven beyond doubt in Bryan's case.

Of course a recording done nearly thirty years later can give no true indication of the massive emotion that the speech created, which the narrator hints at. Paul F. Boller Jr. in his book "Presidential Anecdotes" describes the scene;

Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech touched off a demonstration lasting close to an hour,during which delegates shouted, cheered, and wept. carried Bryan around on their shoulders in triumph and waved banners on which were scribbled "No crown of thorns No cross of gold" 

An idea of the unleashed emotion after Bryan's speech can be received by viewing the explosion of emotion unleashed when Sarah Palin was introduced at the 2008 GOP convention, and when she finished her speech.
Palin, like Lincoln and Bryan came from the ranks of the people and was, like them, relatively unknown. 

It is this commoners touch allied to charisma and the ability to use both in the projection of the listeners wants and needs that makes an immortal and paradigm changing address.Once the genius is let out of the bottle there is no putting it back in and whatever the ups and downs of a political career post life changing speech the groundwork for possible future greatness is in place and is ineradicable.

Here are the key moments in Sarah Palin's 2008 address to the Republican convention which "shook the roof off the building and changed American politics forever as it showed that a woman candidate can be the equal of all 

Historian Robert McNamara, in this excerpt below, gives the background to the speech that eventually led to the presidency for Abraham Lincoln. The full historical analysis is available AT THIS LINK

"Lincoln's Cooper Union Address Propelled Him to the White House"

"In late February 1860, in the midst of a cold and snowy winter, New York City received a visitor from Illinois who had, some thought, a remote chance of running for president on the ticket of the young Republican Party.
By the time Abraham Lincoln left the city a few days later, he was well on his way to the White House. One speech given to a crowd of 1,500 politically astute New Yorkers had changed everything, and had positioned Lincoln to be a candidate in the election of 1860.
As Lincoln took the stage that evening at Cooper Union, he faced an audience of 1,500 spectators. Most of them were active in the Republican Party, and among them were such luminaries as the editor of the antislavery New York Tribune, Horace Greeley. The audience was eager to listen to the man from Illinois. And Lincoln’s address surpassed all expectations.
Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech was one of his longest, at more than 7,000 words. And it is not one of his speeches with passages that are often quoted. Yet, due to the careful research and Lincoln's forceful argument, it was stunningly effective.
an an hour. He was interrupted often by enthusiastic cheering. The New York City newspapers carried the text of his speech the next day, with the New York Times running the speech on the front page. The favorable publicity was astounding, and Lincoln went on to speak in several other cities in the east before returning to Illinois.
That summer the Republican Party held its nominating convention in Chicago. Abraham Lincoln, beating out better known candidates, received his party's nomination. And historians tend to agree that it could never have happened if not for the address delivered months earlier on a cold winter night in New York City."