Friday, July 30, 2004

Applause Lines

A lot of people are remarking on the fact that Kerry tended to rush through applause lines and actually actively discourage applause on many occasions. It's fairly possible the the two standard explanations - a) he's not quite as skilled a public speaker to know how to handle such moments and b) he was rushing to finish by 11 so Dan Rather didn't get cranky - are the correct ones. But, when I was watching the speech I had a slightly different impression. His tendency swat away applause was so consistent throughout the speech that when I was watching the speech another option occurred to me. It seemed to me that he was trying to say - hey, no, wait, I'm giving a serious speech here. Applause is fine, but not the whooping-shouting-over-the-stop-we're-cheering-at-a-rock-concert applause . A strong speech, but a strong speech meant to be listened to, not whistled at.

Well, that was my take anyway.