Rhetoric is speaking or writing that's intended to persuade. If your goal is to write editorial columns for the New York Times, you should work on your rhetoric.
Rhetoric comes from the Greek meaning "speaker" and is used for the art of persuasive speaking or writing. When people listened eagerly to long speeches and studied them in school, rhetoric was generally used positively; now it is often a negative term, implying artfulness over real content. If someone gives a clever speech but doesn't really address the problem, you might say, "That's just a lot of rhetoric."