I attended the 2007 Libertarian Party of Maryland convention last Saturday. The official business was focused on ratifying our constitution and selecting our new Executive Board.
One of the speakers was George Phillies, who is running for the 2008 Libertarian Presidential nomination. I've heard him speak at previous Libertarian National Conventions, most notably when he was running for LNC Chair. He was not the best speaker at any of these appearances, though he always presented clear ideas.
His speech on Saturday was much improved from all those previous experiences. He was impeccably dressed in a grey suit and red tie, his hair was well coiffed, and he looked more Presidential than professorial. More importantly, he was animated and well spoken. His positions on issues were presented with enthusiasm and in plain language (with the possible exception of the issue of foreign debt held by China). He answered questions, even pointed ones, with ease and confidence.
The most pointed question was mine. I asked him what he had done to improve his speaking since the last time I had seen him. He said simply, "I listen to suggestions and take good advice." He's never going to stop being professorial, but he's turned into a much more engaging speaker, and he'll continue to improve.
Prior to seeing him speak on Saturday, I was leaning towards Steve Kubby, due to his speaking skills. However, I was ambivalent about it, since I thought Phillies had better positions. After Saturday, I'm confident that Phillies is the best choice we have for our Presidential candidate.
...back on politics...