They say public speaking is high among our most common fears, traumatizing calm, collected souls when asked to deliver a sales pitch, eulogy or treasurer’s report to fellow Kiwanians.
So, on behalf of them all, here’s a big “Thank you!” to loquacious Adam Schiff, the Democrats’ lead prosecutor in attempting to impeach Donald Trump, for the unintended lesson he taught through three days of repetitive droning at the microphone.
As the late, great Hank Sanders, a New Hampshire coaching legend and UNH Hall of Famer, once said of a Schiff-like motormouth, “He’s inebriated by the exuberance of his own verbosity.”
It was easy to imagine dazed viewers around the nation pleading, “Will you please shut up!”
Indeed, enough already.
Hubert Humphrey, who was our vice president and a presidential candidate back in 1968, was so well known to be an incessant gabber that, kicking off a speech one night, he self-effacingly quipped, “My wife just nudged me and said, ‘Remember, Hubert, for a speech to be immortal it doesn’t have to be eternal.’ ”
Muriel Humphrey sure had that right.
Sometimes less is better. A good salesman knows when to stop. So if you’re called upon to be a speaker, remember the exasperation of Adam Schiff’s listeners.
It wasn’t just the content of his garrulous presentation that induced ennui; it was the physical challenge of taking it all in, hour after hour after hour.
Whoever said, “The mind can’t absorb what the seat can’t endure,” was right on the money.
Brevity and sincerity will be appreciated by any audience.
So now it’s the GOP’s turn to run the show, to point out that the Dems, for all their predictable bluster, failed to produce that euphemistic smoking gun.
As Billy Bulger would have put it, “To a battle of wits they came unarmed.”
That raises a thought here, something akin to reverse psychology.
The GOP could acknowledge the Dems’ exhaustive preparation.
Scripture tells us that by showing kindness to our enemy we will heap coals of fire upon his head.
But it would also magnify a timely point.
Since the Democrats ended up offering little more than three days of hot air, perhaps the Republicans — ostensibly out of consideration for glassy-eyed viewers — could present their case in significantly less time, making weary political junkies very grateful.
And while they were at it they could publicly eschew the nastiness we have witnessed these past three days, returning a missing sense of decorum to “the most exclusive club in the world.”
Truth be told, we could all use such a break this morning.
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