This speech delivered at the 2011 Institute for New Economic Thinking Conference in Bretton Woods, NH by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was stunningly excellent.
Both the substance of Brown’s comments and his delivery of them electrified the room. I’ll be writing some of what I felt was most important in his commentary, but people should watch Brown work through some of the great economic challenges of the day and hear his warnings about what is yet to be tackled. I asked him a question about the dynamics inside Europe and competing policy approaches to dealing with global economic responsibilities.
But this speech and Brown’s performance demonstrate something that we have seen before in the likes of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry and former Vice President Al Gore. Each of these people was too cautious, too pruned, too stiff and controlled when running to secure for themselves the highest office in their respective lands.
After their high paid political handlers were gone after failed campaigns and each was left to do his own scripting, Gordon Brown, John Kerry, and Al Gore morphed into the leaders we all wanted to see earlier — each of them quick on their feet, often brilliant in their framing of great social challenges, and just more dynamic, compelling and magnetic.
INET Executive Director Robert Johnson opens the program and introduces the great chronicler of the life and thinking of John Maynard Keynes, Lord Robert Skidelsky, who then introduces the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, who was on high sizzle.
— Steve Clemons
(The pic on the upper right shows Robert Skidelsky, Gordon Brown and George Soros; photo credit: Institute for New Economic Thinking)