I miss Bill Clinton. I miss him a lot. I?ve more or less grown up with him in office. Elected when I was only in sixth grade, I?ve experienced some of the most important parts of my life with him. Having him leave is like losing a close friend.

It?s only made worse by the fact that his replacement is someone who I can?t bring myself to garner much respect for ? I?ve tried. I can?t bring myself to feel the respect for him that I feel even for Nixon or Reagan.

Some people would wonder how I could respect Clinton after his philandering and ?escapades,? but those same people are the ones who consistently gave him high job approval ratings.

Clinton had his high approval ratings because, though we might not like some of his personal behavior, we like him.

We resolved our internal conflict between our disapproval of his actions and our inability to dislike him by giving low approval ratings for his personal behavior and high ones for his job performance.

We love him because he is a master orator ? something proved to the American people from his speech to the 1992 Democratic National Convention to his final State of the Union Address.

I can?t think of anyone else who I can sit and listen to for an hour and a half without becoming painfully bored. For Clinton, I sit attentively enjoying his every word. He has a skill with words that is essentially lost with modern politicians.

President George W. Bush doesn?t have the same public speaking skills. I find it dreary to listen to even sound clips of Bush. It?s not his accent, because Bill has one, and so do many of my friends. Its rooted in his bland teleprompter deliveries and bungled pronunciations.

Somewhere between radio and MTV the art of oratory was lost. The purpose of speaking is no longer to educate, or give them an enjoyable experience ? it mutated into providing sound bites to make the evening news and to appease our need to feel informed and entertained without actually having either happen.

Clinton fulfilled this need. Networks and radio gave us his entire State of the Union addresses and even the commentators were unusually silent.

He made us feel like he was talking to us personally. He captured our imaginations and showed us his enthusiasm and optimism. How could we not watch?

For the next four years we will listen to half-baked ideas, speeches that fail to capture our imaginations and deliveries devoid of emotion.

I think we will all miss Bill Clinton.

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