Blog

  • We do not inspire others by standing against things

    As I watched news coverage after the recent US presidential election and tried to understand what had happened, my thinking coalesced around three broad reasons for Hillary Clinton’s unforeseen demise: -Instead of inspiring with her own story and vision, she chose a strategy of standing against Donald Trump -She truly lost touch with mainstream America, including in areas of traditional strength for Democrats

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  • What went so wrong for Hillary? 

    After Donald Trump’s highly improbable journey toward the presidency of the United States, the media provided a multitude of explanations, not only for the unconventional billionaire’s victory, but also for Hillary Clinton’s surprising and widely unforeseen collapse. As I have written previously, I followed this story with far more attention than I usually give to politics. Indeed, the days after the election were probably the

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  • How to lose an election

    John Kerry’s storytelling failure: As we observed in the previous post, I noticed a similar phenomenon in the presidential campaign of John Kerry in 2004 and that of Hillary Clinton this year. Each of them was so focused on standing against a flawed opponent that they failed in telling their own stories, and were thus unsuccessful in influencing undecided voters.  When the

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  • Hillary Clinton’s failure was as a storyteller

    As we saw in our previous post, Barack Obama used his personal stories—uplifting and aspirational tales garnered from his own life experience—to forge deep connections with his constituents. His skillful use of narrative has certainly contributed substantially to his remarkable electoral successes.  In addition, I commented that I saw Hillary Clinton’s inability to clearly express who she is and what she stands for—to

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  • The president as master storyteller

    At the end of the previous post, I cited Barack Obama as an example of a public official who used his autobiographical stories to inspire his constituents. This week, I propose to look at this notion in some more detail. As always when I approach issues that may appear partisan, I like to be clear that my intent is not

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  • Storytelling in political campaigns

    This week, I have continued to watch analysis of Donald Trump’s stunning and unexpected victory over Hillary Clinton. It is interesting to hear so many political “experts” explain why the news media and the polls got it so wrong, since virtually none of them had given Trump even the slightest chance of winning. In addition, I am following a growing controversy involving social media, in particular Facebook, and its role in spreading fake news about the candidates.

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