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Analyzing Bush's Stump Speech

President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are using every political tool at their disposal in this campaign: ads, surrogates, the Internet, the nominating conventions, and the most traditional tool of all -- the stump speech. NPR's Mara Liasson, who reported earlier on Kerry's basic stump speech, looks at a typical campaign speech from the president.

Liasson calls President Bush's stump speech "a rehearsed, polished and very consistent performance full of crowd-pleasing lines that help him cultivate an image of someone who says what he means and means what he says."

Bush's speech is delivered in a plain-spoken conversational style, thick with a Texas twang. "He is at the center of a kind of old-fashioned political ritual," says Peter Robinson, a former speechwriter for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. "He keeps his own lines simple and he keeps them country."

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Mara Liasson is a national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

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