. . . how come we can remember few lines from his speeches not the ideas he presented therein?
As Peggy Noonan put it back in 2008:
Barack Obama’s biggest draw is not his eloquence. When you watch an Obama speech, you lean forward and listen and think, That’s good. He’s compelling, I like the way he speaks. And afterward all the commentators call him “impossibly eloquent” and say “he gave me thrills and chills.” But, in fact, when you go on the Internet and get a transcript of the speech and print it out and read it–that is, when you remove Mr. Obama from the words and take them on their own–you see the speech wasn’t all that interesting, and was in fact high-class boilerplate.
And yet the other Roger Simon calls the man offering such boilerplate “the greatest orator of modern times“. Now, to be sure, a great orator can deliver a pedantic speech, but one wonders if he were really such a great orator, wouldn’t he be able to distinguish meaningful rhetoric from mere boilerplate?
Just a thought.