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This article is about two recent U.S. presidents who differed from one another in prominent respects. One entered the Oval Office as a staunch Republican; the other entered as a staunch Democrat. One was one of the oldest men ever to serve in the Oval Office; the other was one of the youngest. The pair assumed contrasting positions on the political spectrum.

Despite these differences, however, the pair – Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama – shared an important common denominator. As president, both achieved recognition as “great communicators,” thanks in large part to their speeches marked by dexterity with the spoken and written language. In June 2009, after Obama had been in the White House for five months, journalist Albert R. Hunt wrote in the New York Times that “Mr. Obama is the most impressive presidential communicator at least since Reagan.”



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