William Powers considers the role of goodwill in helping politicians survive scandals. He contends that Sen. Trent Lott is among the “goodwill-deficient.” I especially like the 4-point categorization Powers creates, but I wish he had accounted for Bill Clinton. I’m not sure any of Powers’ categories adequately explain the source of Clinton’s goodwill. Perhaps we should add: perceived political effectiveness, or common connection. Love him or hate him, Clinton did preside over a long period of economic expansion that created an ever greater level of comfort in America. And he really did sell his ability to feel our pain. I would add to this that Clinton came to understand something important about how to apologize, as I present in this essay on the topic [.pdf].
The Rhetorica Network
I offer commentary on the rhetoric of the American conversation, especially as it unfolds in documentary film, the news media, and politics. Check out my feeds on Twitter and Instagram. Also be sure to see my work at Carbon Trace Productions, a non-profit documentary film studio in Springfield, Missouri. I am a Professor of Media & Journalism at Missouri State University. I teach classes in mobile journalism and documentary filmmaking.
Carbon Trace Productions