Carter was trying to do four things at the same time: a) make amends for his lack of leadership; b) convince people he heard their voice and will now lead; c) repeat his message about the energy crisis; and d) roll out a six-point energy plan.
That must be wh it’s quite long (3621 words – help!). Few pople would read it in extenso and it’s not good TV. The impact would thus be measured by what the media would report about it (it was well received). Today, it would be crucial to line up a long list of supporters to comment the speech on pundit shows.
Carter had a much clearer energy plan in 1979 than Stephen Harper has in 2008. Clarity inspires confidence and competence. Whatever we got now in Canada doesn’t.
Carter’s speech approach (see point 1) might have worked for Stéphane Dion, but he skipped steps a) and b). Again, the man cannot seem to be able to connect with people.