Bill Clinton’s horrible word…

Former US President Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton demonstrated his communication prowess once again during his visit to Dublin last week. The 42nd president of the United States told it as it is and used direct language to connect with his audience when referring to Ireland’s financial difficulties: “It’s a horrible time now but you will get out of it. It will get better as long as you hang together”
Contrast this language with that of those elected to lead the Irish public: euphemistic, evasive and filled with financial and economic jargon. Calling a spade a spade, or a horrible time exactly that, is the kind of political communication desperately needed in Ireland today.
Having let his audience know that he understands how they feel, Clinton continued by offering hope: “All the talents, all the abilities, all the incentives. They are still there. I have really no doubt that the country will come back and that you’ll come back with a more diversified economy, less vulnerable to what just happened to you. As long as everybody keeps moving ahead.” Sadly, this sort of inspiration is thin on the ground in Ireland today.
Perhaps the greatest lesson that Irish politicians can take from Clinton’s visit is that you don’t have to avoid telling the bad news while still bringing your audience with you. “Take the bitter medicine you have to take,” he advised, before reminding people of the strengths of today’s environment: “This is not the drab horrible story that drove thousands of emigrants to the shores of the United States almost two hundred years ago.”
Clinton again demonstrated his ease in his use of the vernacular during his Business & Finance speech when he advised that “We just have to get our mojo back”, not only using a conversational tone and language, but invoking “we”, as in we are in this together and we will get through it. Also consider the use of “we” rather than the impersonal “the Irish people”, “the electorate” with which we are familiar from our Irish politicians.
Horrible, just horrible.

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