EXCERPT FROM ROLL THE DICE BY WAYNE AVRASHOW
Sloan eyed Chris Collins deliver her remarks with pitch-perfect tone and cadence. Republicans were breathing rarified air as Collins led in the early polling. Sloan studied her as she bolstered her words with gestures, timely pauses, and full smiles—a performance that held all the spontaneity of an Olympic synchronized swimmer.
Rogers’s remarks were an octave too loud as he nailed every touchstone of the progressive agenda. When he began citing a boring laundry list of his voting record, Sloan’s confidence spiked; his opponent was as thrilling as a mashed potato sandwich.
Sloan rose from his seat as Rogers and Collins cast steely glances toward him in a prefight staring down of an opponent. Sloan returned a playful nod to Rogers and a quick smile toward Collins.
The union delegates greeted Sloan with a thunderous ovation. Many delegates hoisted pre-printed signs in the air that read, “I Believe!” Approaching the lectern, Sloan stooped to autograph numerous Teamster caps that were thrust toward him.
Sloan understood that public speeches were not analogous to the child's game of skipping rocks on a lake’s surface and watching the resulting ripples. Once released in the public domain, the speaker “owned” those ideas, and proposals dismissed as “silly” could guillotine a public career.
“Good to be back,” Sloan opened with a broad smile. “I haven’t been on a Vegas stage for . . . what? Five weeks?”
Sloan noticed the near-hypnotic nods of a middle-aged woman who gazed upward from the front row. He understood how any brush of her pedestrian life with his celebrity would bestow upon her an ephemeral wisp of status to share tonight on social media and to regale her co-workers at tomorrow’s coffee break.