Sunday 11 December 2016

Cowen finds his voice and the call is 'fight or die'

Published 08/02/2009 | 00:00

'Obama has the charisma but Brian Cowen has character." That was what I wrote here three weeks ago, as Cowen's critics were writing him off. But after the Taoiseach's tour de force at the Dublin Chamber of Commerce dinner his critics will have to think again.

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Before we consider what he said, let me make a few points about the way he said it -- and why he doesn't deliver his message with the same power in the Dail. Harry McGee -- who must be congratulated on a tremendous scoop -- told us that the Taoiseach gave an unscripted address for 17 minutes "without notes".

But there is a big difference between not looking at your notes and knowing your notes. The coherent structure of the speech showed that the Taoiseach had been going over some good notes before he put them aside. It reminds me of Kipling's remark that you may not see a fire being raked before you come into a room, but you will certainly feel the effect.

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