The stage of a national political convention is the Olympics of political oratory. You are standing on a podium before a national audience, in front of hundreds of the partisans who can help make or break your career. The audience is there for the singular purpose of rallying together to elect the next leader of the free world. And you have been chosen to speak to them. For the speakers at the conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia, the stakes couldn’t be higher: If it goes well, you can launch yourself into the national stratosphere, as happened after the convention speeches of then-Illinois state Senator Barack Obama and former California Governor Ronald Reagan. If it goes poorly, your speech could be memorable for all the wrong reasons; you risk becoming a walking punchline. Read the full op-ed here.
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