As for the president, his big campaign speech last week in Cleveland not only was roundly panned but was deeply revealing. In it—all 54 minutes of it—he attempted to make the case for his economic stewardship and his re-election.
What he revealed is that he doesn't know the case for his own re-election.
Politicians give 54-minute speeches when they don't know what they're trying to say but are sure the next sentence will tell them. So they keep talking. They keep saying sentences in the hope that meaning will finally emerge from one of them.
A 54-minute speech is not a sign of Fidel-like confidence, or a love for speaking. A 54-minute speech is a sign of desperation.
It was a speech about everything—renewable energy, tax credits, Abraham Lincoln, tax loopholes, deficit imbalances, infrastructure, research and development incentives. But a speech about everything is a speech about nothing. I listened once and read it twice: It wasn't a case for re-election, it was a wordage dump.