The Corner

Eloquence in Politics

The most eloquent men in American political history were Patrick Henry, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and William Jennings Bryan. The last three wanted to be president; none succeeded.

We remember Reagan as the great communicator, and he certainly was. But I covered him, John Connally and Jesse Jackson; the last two were better speakers. We all read the speeches of Abraham Lincoln, but he was not the headliner at Gettysburg (that was Edward Everett). Probably Charles Sumner was the most eloquent man in the north during his lifetime. I assume that any southerner can out talk three northerners before breakfast.


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