Larry Pressler: President Trump is one of the greatest natural orators of our time

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  • durwood kirby , 00
    Feb. 15, 2019 8:17 p.m.

    I spent over thirty years instructing students whose only common characteristic was that each had committed serious offenses to qualify for admission into my special, alternative classroom setting. I can scarcely discern any significant difference between my students’ written, fact-based, oratory, and general communication skills and the President’s. Quite frankly, many performed on a higher level.

  • beenwatching Layton, UT
    Feb. 12, 2019 11:08 a.m.

    Mr. Pressler, At first I thought you were being sarcastic! Your article sounds much like Trump’s own buffoonish rhetoric. Yes indeed, he is one of the greatest orators of our time. It was the best State of the Union oration speech in history. It was huge. And beautiful. A beautiful speech. And more people listened to it than any speech in history. No other president has ever made a speech like that. And more people liked it than any before.

    Yes, he certainly did stick to his teleprompter, Mr. Pressler, like all great orators do, from Lincoln to Kennedy to Cicero. You could surely tell with the good grammar, vast vocabulary, and poetic phrasing that Donald Trump himself must have contributed huge to the text. Thankfully, after watching him stick so well to the teleprompter, as you say, we know that there is at least one document he has actually read since he has been in office.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Feb. 12, 2019 9:47 a.m.

    "He gave superb speeches at each event..."

    That's because the guy is all talk. Listening to Trump talk about faith and prayer is tough on the stomach.

  • Rockyrd Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2019 9:51 p.m.

    Mr. Pressler keeps trying to say good things about Trump. It isn't working.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 11, 2019 4:38 p.m.

    Seriously? Trump is mediocre at best. And I voted for him.

    clinton, Reagan & Tony Blair were the best I've heard.

  • joewillie12 Corpus Christi, TX
    Feb. 11, 2019 2:57 p.m.

    "Some people have a way with words, and others.......not have way."

    Steve Martin

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 11, 2019 8:54 a.m.

    Trump's abilities as an orator are his greatest liability and indictment because he uses them to feed an already toxic political environment.

  • Daedalus, Stephen Arvada, CO
    Feb. 11, 2019 8:45 a.m.

    Larry Pressler is one of the greatest natural opinion writers of our time.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 7:49 a.m.

    @ kbee

    ""Utah girl chronicles" just wondering why it mattered that the 6th grade girl prodigy orator was 80 lbs?"

    Pretty amusing you got stuck on three words and ignored the rest of my comment.

    Most sixth graders seem to weigh around eighty pounds.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Feb. 11, 2019 7:43 a.m.

    SOTU is not really the best assessment of oratory skills. It is more a test of speechwriting skills.

    A better test is political rallies on the campaign trail where the speaker is semi-relaxed, trying to convince a somewhat friendly audience to get fully on-board.

    A great orator does not make a great leader. By all measures, Hitler was a great orator who was quite skillful at winning his audience over and became quite popular.

    In contrast, FDR, Kennedy and Reagan were great orators and great persuaders.

    Trump may not be a great orator. But, his political rally speeches are quite unique and do stand out among typical political speeches of today.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Feb. 11, 2019 5:53 a.m.

    The idea of Trump as an orator, much less a great one, can be flicked away without another thought, it's so patently ridiculous. Hopefully Mr. Pressler is already regretting that paragraph.

    But I'd like to know why all of these praying, presumably sincere religious folk who say they follow a god that loves all its creations apparently spent no time talking about the fact that this administration has a policy of forcibly separating children from their parents with no tracking system to ensure that they can later be reunited?

    I think it's failures like this that invite the accusations of hypocrisy. And legitimately so, IMO. Harming children to punish the parents? That's the work of thugs and brutes, IMO, not people who worship a decent god.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 11, 2019 5:55 a.m.

    And Trump as a great Orator?

    Certainly a coffee spitting headline. Scuse me while I go get a rag for my monitor.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 11, 2019 5:56 a.m.

    Exactly One Old Man,

    Considering all of the crying and moaning about the deficit in the early Obama years, I have to ask. WHAT happened?

    It is pathetic , during a good economy to add such a huge amount to our debt.

    To your average Republican, deficits only matter under a Democratic president.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 8:58 p.m.

    One thing missing from trump's Bloviation Of The Union Address : Any mention of the $1 trillion added to our debt during the first two years of his reign.

  • canyonprophet69 provo, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 7:44 p.m.

    Well, to be fair, he was using the same teleprompter Obama used that brought him criticism from the right, and probably had the same caliber of speech writers too. Judging from his tweets, he would have never impressed anyone if he were speaking off the cuff.

  • Eddie Would Go , 00
    Feb. 10, 2019 4:55 p.m.

    Back off haters. Of course the President is a great orator. Remember, he informed us that he had the “best words.”

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 4:27 p.m.

    "I, me, mine, my, and believe me" repeated 50 times. LOL!

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 1:37 p.m.

    @Puukko Orem - Feb. 10, 2019 8:00 a.m.
    Man, the Trump haters are out in numbers today.


    You mean, of course, the people who see and know trump exactly for who and what he is, and who are patriotic Americans who love their country and stand up to defend and protect it against the clear and present danger who is trying from the Oval Office and White House to destroy what is good and decent about it. We don't actively hate trump. We love our country, and are appalled and outraged and what trump is doing to it, and are advocating to make him step his malefaction.

  • Common sense conservative Herriman, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 12:34 p.m.

    I honestly thought this headline was a joke. A big joke. Very big. Believe me. Tremendous. A tremendous joke. If you look at what's happening with... the prayer breakfast... ...if you look at what's happening with... the state of the union. Believe me nobody is a better orator than Trump. Nobody. Believe me. And many smart people are saying g this. Tremendous people. He had a tremendous election victory in 2016. And no collusion. No collusion. Believe me...

  • jeffc2000 Carmichael, CA
    Feb. 10, 2019 10:00 a.m.

    Mr. Presser, I can only surmise that you must be 'carrying water' for somebody to write such an ill-considered, ridiculous commentary about Donald Trump. As another commentator here noted, what comes out of Mr. Trump's mouth is the very definition bloviation (to talk aimlessly and boastingly). You even emphasize "[when] He stuck to his teleprompter." You must know that the teleprompter words are written by speechwriters. To know the words of Trump, read the constant flow of brutish, vulgar, name-calling, fatuous tweets. I find it so sad, disappointing and unfathomable that anyone could find the author of those tweets to be "one of the greatest natural orators of our time"

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 9:58 a.m.

    Being a great orator and being a great statesman are not the same. The presidency should not be determined by a debate or beauty contest. Separating the two means critically looking at the issues and results. Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln were both great orators and great leaders. Current and recent US presidents do not measure up to that standard.

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 9:45 a.m.


    Your opinion definitely put a smile on my face.

    Thank you for your comedic sense of humor.

    IMHO, Mr. trump is one the greatest con men of all time.

  • Kouger Lehi, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 9:18 a.m.

    "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation." - Trump: the greatest natural orator.


    "If there is going to be cream and cries, there cannot be cake and pies" (and lies).

    Thank you Larry for the teary laughter.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 8:36 a.m.

    I would much prefer listening to Obama.

    I didn't vote for Obama or for Trump, but Trump can't hold a candle to Obama as an orator.

    Obama is a once in a generation Orator, like him or not.

    Trump is very skilled at put downs, I will give him credit for that. (Horseface, Pocahontas etc).
    I don't think that is the best quality in a leader who is supposed to bring our country together.

    Somehow, I think Lincoln, perhaps our nations greatest presidential orator, wouldn't be so mean spirited even towards his opponents.

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 8:33 a.m.

    trump isn't an orator. He's a bloviator and bluster-monger. There is precious little truth or value in anything he says. He pushes to bully people to do his will, and throws a fit when they don't. He is a total disgrace to this country and its people.

  • emb Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 8:04 a.m.

    Great state of the union address but he is far from a great natural orator. Many high school kids are better orators than President Trump

  • Puukko Orem , 00
    Feb. 10, 2019 8:00 a.m.

    Man, the Trump haters are out in numbers today.

  • cl_rand North Salt Lake, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 7:25 a.m.

    Larry Pressler demonstrating the truth of Abe Lincoln's adage, "you can fool some of the people all of the time".

  • kbee Syracuse, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 6:46 a.m.

    "Utah girl chronicles" just wondering why it mattered that the 6th grade girl prodigy orator was 80 lbs? I'm always blown away by comments like that. No wonder girls and women dwell on their weight and self esteem so much, the adults around them do. Just saying 6th grader would have been enough for us to know that she was young. I tend to agree with Linus in Bountiful. Pick pick pick on everything. Give the poor guy a break on something. He is not a professional speaker or politician for that matter. Judge him by what he accomplishes. I guess that's impossible. Nobody judged Obama on what he accomplished....only on his smooth speaking skills.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Feb. 10, 2019 6:13 a.m.

    These three comments on the President can not go unanswered.

    "the office demands our respect"

    First the person holding said office has to act respectfully. Secondly, respect is earned.

    "he endures much abuse"

    If you define "abuse" as truth telling, I agree. Trump is no angel, and his wanton ways are exposed. And just how much abuse does he heap on others? Not that tit for tat should be national policy, but Trump revels in bullying others and heaping abuse on even his closest allies.

    "works hard in the interests of all of us"

    Wow, does anyone read how little he works, how little he reads? And given what we are now finding out about the Trump tax cut, which disproportionally benefits the already well-off, do you really believe he has all our interests at heart?

  • ER in AF Layton, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 10:51 p.m.

    You can see trump has put in a lot of time of late working on his reading skills. He was able to read the SOTU speech all the way through on cue; a performance he has rarely been able to pull off in the past. An orator, in my opinion has to be able to grasp the concepts he/she is speaking about, has to demonstrate that he/she has put thought to the ideas behind the words.

    When he pulls of a good speech, it is like when the monkeys pounding on the typewriter luck out and type one of Shakespeare's plays. They say it can happen, but it does not mean the monkeys understand Macbeth. A great orator? A great buffoon.

  • Kouger Lehi, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 9:07 p.m.

    If the main criteria of being a natural orator is speaking and telling lies, then yes Trump is the greatest.

  • sashabill , CA
    Feb. 9, 2019 7:39 p.m.

    So Trump is a great orator? Reagan, JFK, FDR, William Jennings Bryan, Daniel Webster, and Demosthenes must be turning over in their graves.

  • Fabulous Jen Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 7:11 p.m.


    Obama's humor was often self-deprecating. When he did stick it to someone, he was usually very funny. When he did mess up (the "special Olympics" comment), he apologized.

    No one in the Obama administration ever was indicted. Maybe visiting children's hospitals is a "sell-out of the American way of life" to you, but I think it grates on you because you know Trump post-presidency will never do anything where he isn't the main beneficiary.

  • Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 6:42 p.m.

    We all know the great orator was Obama. We also know that that's ALL he had; everything else was a sell out of the American way of life....everything.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 6:17 p.m.

    Want an education?

    Google up transcripts of trump's two speeches at the National Day of Prayer. The first is a great example of a trump speech. The second was written for him by a speechwriter and he managed to stick to reading it from the teleprompter.

    Why the difference?

    Perhaps because the first was recognized by even his White House enablers for the disaster it was?

    Then Google transcripts of Obama's Prayer Day speeches.

    Interesting, eh?

  • Sportsfan123 Herriman, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 6:13 p.m.

    I am not a leftist, nor a democrat, buuuut! I find it hard to agree with mr pressler, I will say this trump has improved his speaking skills, and as long as he sticks with the script and doesnt go off on a tangent he has been able to do well.

    Outside of that clearly Trump is one of the worse and probably one of the hardest politician to listen too.

    That said I like his policies and his efforts to do a 180 degree course correction from the damage created by the previous four globalist's that sat in the oval office most specifically to undo what oblama did who did more to change this country into a secular socialist immoral people than ever thought possible, for that I would gladly sit thru a rough draft of this president than listen to the forked toungue of the previous four.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    Feb. 9, 2019 5:23 p.m.

    Well, if you think he did a fine job on that bus.. ......

  • joewillie12 Corpus Christi, TX
    Feb. 9, 2019 5:11 p.m.

    @eigerjoe. Consider the source.

    "Jerry Falwell Jr. proclaimed it, “Best State of the Union speech in my lifetime delivered by the best POTUS since George Washington and it’s not even over yet! God bless Donald Trump!” I completely agree."

    Am I in OppoWorld?!? Trump World is 180 degrees out from normalcy, yet his supporters see nothing amiss.

    The last two years exposed an America that I honestly did not know existed. I've visited 48 states and over 30 countries. I'm not sheltered.

    The level of aggressive truth-denying is astounding. Absolutely astounding.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 4:55 p.m.


    Your comparison of Trump to Mussolini must be a compliment, right. Being a marxist and all...

  • n8ive american Shelley, Idaho
    Feb. 9, 2019 4:56 p.m.

    I would listen to Trump any time. Better than our last president.

  • Todd_i Midway, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 4:32 p.m.

    I am old enough to have listened to and understood Presidents Reagan through Trump. I have also listened to many speeches from Kennedy, FDR, Nixon, Eisenhower, and Carter.

    I may not agree with any or all of their ideas or policies, but the discussion here is about speaking skills. By far, I find Trump to be the worst orator of any of these Presidents. I find his vocabulary limited, his formation of rational ideas and arguments weak, and his voice intonation insincere.

    I may listen to an old Reagan or Kennedy speak for the 'State of the Union' next year.

  • Hal 9000 Vernal, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 4:07 p.m.

    State of the Union addresses dont bring results. Doesn't matter how successful the speach is. If they blow the speach, is our union is doomed? Actions and results mean nothing? Lincoln was not a good orator and, gasp, was Republican!

    President Trump promised in his first two SOTU's historic employment for everyone, booming economy, return businesses to the US, fair trade to eliminate trade deficits, safer borders to keep criminals out while protecting our families, with many other issues that would benefit us and our country.

    SOTU addresses from the previous 3 administrations promised the same things with little to no result. We were asked to accept the "new normal". I will take result oriented promises any day even if the speach wasn't presented like JFK.

    All I am hearing from most commentators is the unbridled loathing and resentment Those accomplish nothing.

  • Yankee12 Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 3:52 p.m.

    Great! A positive piece on President Trump! Let's see how long this lasts DN.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 3:39 p.m.

    I really enjoy Senator Pressler's weekly articles. They are full of wisdom and thoughtful insights. I especially like his references to his personal experiences in today's Washington, DC.

    Many people do not like President Trump. But I say wait until the next election, and show your disapproval at the ballot box. In the meantime, support his efforts as our President.

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    Feb. 9, 2019 3:36 p.m.

    Trump’s speeches at the SOTU and the National Prayer Breakfast were written by speech writers and he simply read them. For examples of his “natural” orator/writer style, we have his tweets. And he uses Twitter to routinely mock, insult, and deride others. In my opinion, that makes him one of the worst natural speakers of all time.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 3:00 p.m.

    My words often don't make it so I'll use his:

    "America’s potential is unlimited because our extraordinary people are just something that is number one, no matter where you go."

    It isn't trump 'hatred' to know this is bad oration. Nor can unlimited praise from a Falwell make it so.

  • jp3 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 1:58 p.m.

    This is the world we live in now--"up" is "down" and "black" is "white". Whatever you do, never admit to wrongdoing. Knowing this, it's easy to figure out that the Trump hyperbole about being "best ever" means the absolute opposite.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 1:41 p.m.

    I am a conservative, though I am not a registered Republican at this time as I do not agree with Trump's and the Republican Party's fiscal irresponsibility, trade policies, and poor representation of character values in politics. I did not vote for Trump (I voted 3rd party) and have been a big critic of him and his administration when I feel he is wrong. When he does something good, I praise his good behavior, policies and decisions.

    I have been planning to vote 3rd party again in 2020.

    Having said all of that, I felt his state of the union address was very good. I was surprised, and impressed.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 1:39 p.m.

    Why do so many hate the President of the United States? Even the office demands our respect. It is obvious that he endures much abuse, but he still works hard in the interests of all of us. I would think that in Utah, there might be just a little more charity toward one so abused.

  • storm3033 Vernal, Utah
    Feb. 9, 2019 1:07 p.m.

    I guess you may as well give his speechwriter the credit

  • mtnight BILLINGS, MT
    Feb. 9, 2019 12:22 p.m.

    Mr. Pressler said the president stuck to the teleprompter. The teleprompter does not make a good orator. A true orator's words are as measured in every situation -- meetings, rallies, tweets, interviews, etc. Mr. Trump's are not.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Feb. 9, 2019 11:25 a.m.

    Listening to Donald Trump give a speech written by someone else is like watching a drunk crossing the street against a red light - its a painful experience.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 11:26 a.m.

    I had an eighty-pound sixth grader in my class years ago who had amazing verbal text reading skills. Emily read text out loud better than I can, better than most adults can. She never tripped over big words. She scanned ahead while reading and used tonal inflections to illuminate humor or rising tension. Often she made the writing sound better than it was.

    Trump does none of that. His speaking tone while reading the teleprompter is very flat. He delivers his message without heart and without passion. It seems obvious he has no connection with the words he is imparting, sort of like when my dog sits on my lap and pretends to read with me.

    In the speech Pressler is gushing over, Trump praised "the abolition of civil rights" without ever circling back to make the correction.

    Emily, the sixth-grade speaking and reading prodigy, would not have tripped up like that.

  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    Feb. 9, 2019 11:05 a.m.

    Interesting opinion. I would not have considered Trump in such high regard, but in light of the two speeches Pressler referenced, I have to admit that he showed a much higher level of humility and grace, recognizing achievements on both sides of the spectrum, avoiding much of the divisiveness and urging cooperation in making America great. Perhaps the work of good speechwriters and sticking to his teleprompter, but I saw significant improvement in both his tone and his delivery.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 11:03 a.m.

    When I watched him posturing I thought I was watching Mussolini. And the effect was not just visual.

  • eigerjoe Sandy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 10:39 a.m.

    Sorry to spoil all the Trump hater commits on this article, but Larry Pressler is correct. President Trump is one of the greatest natural orators of our time. Jerry Falwell Jr. proclaimed it, “Best State of the Union speech in my lifetime delivered by the best POTUS since George Washington and it’s not even over yet! God bless DonaldTrump!” I completely agree.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 10:26 a.m.

    I listened to President Trump's SOTU speech. He did not sound like a scrabble board falling down the stairs; and he spoke with greater wisdom than Rep. Cortez, who has graduated from College, to mention just one example. Perhaps some do not want this nation to come together for the good of the country as a whole. Perhaps some people prefer some thing that is more like the homonym.

  • dordrecht Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 10:25 a.m.

    Thanks for a good laugh! What an insult to the word "orator!"

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 10:18 a.m.

    He is the very best and praising himself and blaming others in the known history of the world, other than the Sun King.

  • Daedalus, Stephen Arvada, CO
    Feb. 9, 2019 10:15 a.m.

    Pressler: "[Trump] stuck to his teleprompter. ... he is one of the greatest natural orators of our time."

    Those 2 sentences are incompatible to all but the most starry-eyes Trump acolyte.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 10:07 a.m.

    Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan and now Trump.

    I'd put Lincoln, Kennedy and Reagan at the top of this list.

  • Unreconstructed Reb BE, 00
    Feb. 9, 2019 9:59 a.m.

    The self-deception we're witnessing has moved beyond shocking. It is now unwitting self-parody.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 9:48 a.m.

    "If you've ever listened to him speak you'd know he sounds like a scrabble board falling down the stairs."

    Furymouse, that was absolutely GREAT !

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 9:46 a.m.

    A "great orator"? Does Pressler still get free taxpayer funded healthcare? Because I think he needs a checkup. Trump has "the greatest" words. Trump doesn't have words other that "great" "Beautiful" "Yuge" "No Collusion" and "Coveffe". He can't form a logical thought or message. Trump has been a self promoter all his life. A flim flam man that most everybody sees through, now. But not Pressler.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 9:44 a.m.

    Now I've heard it all !

    Is this an opinion piece or a hallucination ?

  • TMR Pasadena, CA
    Feb. 9, 2019 9:39 a.m.

    I am willing to give Trump his due - he understands his base, he knows how to muscle his way in real estate, and he is superb at intimidating people. From what I hear, he can sometimes can display a certain kind of charm. But, to call him a great orator, let alone “one of the greatest orators” of a lifetime, is just plain buffoonery. Just what is being served in kool-aid these days?

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 9, 2019 9:32 a.m.

    Trump is the master of bloviation like no other, he has no equal, he is king of bloviation. Long live the king.

  • furymouse Draper, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 9:29 a.m.

    If you've ever listened to him speak you'd know he sounds like a scrabble board falling down the stairs.

  • Golden Rules Okay, OK
    Feb. 9, 2019 9:27 a.m.

    Sounds like someone is hoping for a job in the Trump administration.

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2019 9:10 a.m.

    if he is so great why does he sound like a second grader???