After Barack Obama's historic speech last week-- which will be remembered as on a par with King's "I Have a Dream"-- even Hillary had to admit that, hey, dude makes a heck of a speech. But, as she's been saying all along, giving a great speech is not the same thing as being qualified to be president.
This is where I think she's wrong. In this day and age-- which I'll define as "post-Reagan"-- I'd argue that public speaking is, easily, 80% of the job of being president. Meaning that Obama's facility with the spoken word does, indeed, all by itself pretty much qualify him to be president.
When Reagan was president I used to mock him as the Ronald McDonald of the administration; the guy who made the speeches and appeared on TV but certainly not the guy who made tthe burgers. Now I realize that Reagan, "the Great Communicator" (How Orwellian was that?), was ahead of his time. We're electing a president based on how good a job he or she will do as champion, as spokesperson for an administration and set of policies. Indeed whomever we elect, one would hope they'd get an expert on economics to make economic policy; an expert on the Middle East to make Middle Eastern policy, and so on. Probably also an expert on prostitution and extramarital affairs; indeed I think we should probably make that a cabinet-level position. (Insert your own position joke here: _______________________)
Hillary supporters are wont to say something that usually begins, "Yeah, but if she was a man..."
Let me complete that thought for you.
If she was a man, she'd be Al Gore without the inconvenient truth; she'd be John Kerry; she'd be Dick Gephardt in a pastel pants suit. Sorry, but I'm totally over that guy.
I want to apologize to my regular readers (and you know who you are, God love you, all 9 of you) for such sparse postings these days. Turns out that the whole "having a job" thing has proved to be more demanding than expected; when you have a job the hours, as I think I've mentioned, are murder, what with the showing up and all...
Anyway, I was in London recently (for said job) and I grabbed a copy of Uncut magazine. Not that earth shattering, I usually buy it in the states as well, but since its a British magazine, in London I got to buy it during the actual month it was out. The cover story featured one of my all time favorite bands, the Faces, who-- contrary to popular opinion at the time-- were not Rod Stewart's backing band in the early 70s but rather a very rockin', hell-bent Stonesy band he happened to be in. Anyway, the freebie CD inside Uncut featured music in the spirit of the Faces, including a cover version of a very pretty, wistful Faces song originally penned and sung by bass player Ronnie Lane (you might remember him as the guy Pete Townsend made this record with, or else as the beneficiary of the early '80s A.R.M.S. concerts.)
Anyway, that cover version was done by one of my favorites, Jim Boggia. In addition to making great records and having terrific pop sensibility, I am convinced that Boggia has the same record collection as me; his sundry classic covers always manage to mine the essence of some long ago (by which I mean, the pre-disco '70s) time. Check out what he does with Lane's "Debris;" this is the most loving cover I've heard in days. He catches the loose feel of records of the era, as well as Ronnie Wood's clear cutting tones on guitar, and his lead vocal is himself yet wholly evocative of Lane while he does an admirable job of sounding like Stewart on backing "vox," as we "musos" say.
I know, if this is so good, why not just listen to the original? And Boggia (who I've met more than once and even performed with; no joke) and I both heartily urge you to do just that. All the Faces albums are in print on CD.
While we're on the subject of Jim Boggia and insanely spot-on 70s covers, check this one out: Queen's "Somebody to Love." One guy.