Janice Shaw Crouse

One Fortune 500 CEO commented that he always brings his wife to dinner with potential top executives because he trusts his wife’s intuition as a reliable barometer of a candidate’s character and trustworthiness – important characteristics that aren’t measured by other aspects of the job interview process. With the President’s State of the Union Address (SOTU), it didn’t take women’s intuition to see through the rhetoric and understand the tone and defensiveness of the speech.

The President promised the moon, but said nothing for which he could be held accountable. He did a brilliant job of giving the impression that he was addressing issues, but in case after case one could only wonder about the particulars. Most women listen carefully when a man dishes out flowery promises. Most have learned from bitter experience not to fall for vague promises; instead they look for the particulars and most importantly, they look at a man’s actions.

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The President’s rhetoric, as usual, was phrased in a way that any listener could shape the message according to their particular point of view. As the President wrote in his autobiography, The Audacity of Hope, he believes that one of his strengths is that he is a “blank screen” on which different people can “project” different views. Clearly, he believes that he can say anything and people will believe it –– in the way that has meaning and significance to each separate person who is listening, even when they have different perspectives and ideologies. He doesn’t seem to understand that words have to be associated with reality –– not to mention truth and accuracy. There was an almost total disconnect between what he said in his SOTU and what he did –– the actions he took –– last year, in regard to Iran, earmarks, transparency, bipartisanship and I could go on and on.

Ultimately, the President’s SOTU was deceptive, which goes to the issue of character which leads directly to the question of whether he can be trusted.

Janice Shaw Crouse

Janice Shaw Crouse is a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and now political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
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