Crossposted at RWNO, my personal web site!
In the “It would be sad if it wasn’t so funny” department, Obama’s use of a teleprompter is legendary. So let’s look at what the MSM and Democrat Party says about Obama’s speaking skills, his reliance on and use of a teleprompter, his inability to speak without it, and what fun is being made of Obama.
What the MSM and the Democrat Party says about Obama’s speaking skills
The MSM has always said that Barack Obama can speak well. Here is an example of what the MSM says: Lolita Breckenridge said, “He’s very charismatic. It was a ‘you-had-to-be-there’ kind of experience.” After hearing Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama address a packed rally at the University of Maryland on Monday, Breckenridge made the comment. A dedicated supporter, she brought two of her friends to hear the Illinois senator deliver one of his much-talked-about speeches. “Not too much of the speech was new to me,” she admitted. “But hearing him live…” she trailed off, shaking her head and grinning. Ahead of Obama’s speech, hip-hop music blared across the sports arena and fans held up signs that read “Barack My World” and “Party Like a Barack Star”. Afterward, supporters were eager to talk about the experience. For Karen Ruffin, hearing him speak of his hope for the country was “inspiring, full of hope and phenomenal. I was undecided in the beginning but after hearing a few speeches I gradually moved toward him,” Ruffin said.
The UK Guardian (a British newspaper, no less) weighs in on Obama’s speaking skills. “Barack Obama will have to draw on all his considerable oratorical skills tonight to connect himself to those parts of the electorate that remain unconvinced by his message and unclear about what he represents.” “Obama is the first presidential candidate who reminds me of Kennedy’s eloquence and capacity to inspire. They both, despite their own special backgrounds, convey to people that they understand and listen to every American citizen,” says Ted Sorensen, John F. Kennedy’s chief speechwriter.
This summer marked the fifth anniversary (the article was written on 2009) of the Democrat Party’s swoon for Barack Obama, who thrilled millions of people hearing the young state senator for the first time with words that set his image as a dazzling unifier in an age of mean and divisive politics. As he prepares to address Congress in a nationally televised speech Wednesday, one of the main pillars of Obama’s reputation – that his gift for healing words would combine with the power of his biography to transcend the rancor of modern politics – has never looked more wobbly.
“I want to share something I find interesting about Obama’s polished presence which helped him secure these next four years leading our country,” says Philip Potempa. In the book used by Potempa in the class he teaches, “The Art of Public Speaking,” by Stephen E. Lucas, the author says: “Obama’s speech displayed that good public speakers are audience-centered, knowing that the primary purpose of speech making is NOT to browbeat the audience or blow off steam, but rather to gain a desired response.” Beginning with the 2006 edition of this book, Lucas began including Obama’s photo on the cover of the book. “Despite whether you are a Republican or Democrat and whether you voted for Obama or not, there’s no denying this is a man who is an excellent public speaker and communicator.” When Obama delivered that Democrat Party convention keynote address on July 27, 2004, he set off what commentators called ‘Obama Fever’ and ‘the Obama Phenomenon’ and ‘Obamania.’ The media said Obama had ‘instantly established his credentials as a national political force’ and PBS news anchor Jim Lehrer remarked the speech represented ‘a bit of history being made.’”
Public speaking skills are critical to the success of all leaders says public speaking consultant Claudia Rabb. Her latest example: Barack Obama. “Barack Obama is extremely successful in using his great and powerful rhetorical skills to influence and – what is even more important – inspire and “fire up” is audience motivating his listeners to follow him – very often by giving hope and encouraging them to work together with him to build a new and better future.”
Here is the famous admonition by Chris Matthews. Chris Matthews expressed his latest over the top admiration for Obama’s speaking skills as the MSNBC anchor admitted that Obama’s speech created a “thrill” in his leg: “It’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”
Once again we are being told that Barack Obama is the “Greatest” Orator of modern time by the Politico’s Roger Simon, who told Howard Kurtz on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” … “We will stipulate that he’s the greatest orator of modern times…”. This is another example of the MSM swooning over Obama’s speaking skills.
From the above sources we see that both the MSM and Democrat Party think that Obama is a very good public speaker, and that Obama can persuade anyone or anything by his speaking. One MSM commentator even said Obama speaking “gave him a thrill.”
Obama’s Reliance On, Use of Teleprompter
The Washington Times asks in this editorial, “Is President Obama able to conduct a news conference without a teleprompter?” It might be time to ask if David Axelrod is Barack Obama’s brain. Some have noted that Mr. Obama’s stumbling speeches have occurred when teleprompters have malfunctioned or been absent. “While the teleprompter might let Mr. Obama blame someone else whenever the answer turns out to be wrong, we would like to have a president who occasionally comes across as more than a TV anchor reading a script.”
From this Politico article, we learn that “President Barack Obama doesn’t go anywhere without his TelePrompter. The textbook-sized panes of glass holding the president’s prepared remarks follow him wherever he speaks.” Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual – not only because the MSM says he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events. Obama has relied on a teleprompter through even the shortest announcements and when repeating the same lines on his economic stimulus plan that he’s been saying for months.
From an article in The New York Times, we learn “Presidents have been using teleprompters for more than half a century, but none have relied on them as extensively as Mr. Obama has so far.” He’s helpless without a TelePrompTer, the critics say, and they point to the very deliberate way he often speaks, including his use of the universal filler “umm” when he speaks extemporaneously. While presidents typically have used teleprompters for their most important speeches, Mr. Obama uses them for routine announcements and even for the opening statement of his news conferences. He used them during a visit to a Caterpillar plant in Peoria, Ill. He used them to make brief remarks opening his “fiscal responsibility summit.” He used them to discuss endangered species, even recalling a visit to national parks as an 11-year-old. “That was an experience I will never forget,” he said, reading from the teleprompter.
From The Seattle Times article, we learn that, “As he introduced his new choice for secretary of health and human services (Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas) in the East Room this week, President Obama turned his head from right to left, but he was not looking at the audience. He was reading from two teleprompters strategically set up outside the tight television camera shot.”
Obama’s Inability to Speak Without a Teleprompter
Here we learn that President Obama cannot speak extemporaneously, that he must have a teleprompter.
When answering questions without a script, Bradley A. Blakeman, a former aide to President George W. Bush, said of Obama, “his speech is very halted and you can see him take a lot of time to think about what he’s going to say.”
From this source, we learn that Obama used a teleprompter to speak to a 6th grade class. From this source, we see that Obama cannot finish the speech he started because his teleprompter malfunctioned. When the president was announcing the members of his science and technology council, the teleprompter froze up. Not having note cards, what else could the president do but admonish the TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States) to knock it off. “In addition to John…. sorry, the….. I just noticed that I jumped the gun here,” Obama said. Then he laid his speaking troubles on the teleprompter. “Go ahead and move it up,” he demanded of his machine. “I’d already – I’d already introduced all you guys.”
This source tells us what happens to Obama when he has to rely upon himself instead of his teleprompter. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was 20 seconds into his second address when it dawned on him that he was giving word for word the speech that Obama had just read from the same teleprompter. Cowen stopped and looked back at the president to say, “That’s your speech.” Obama laughed and returned to the podium to offer what might have been Cowen’s remarks. In doing so, President Obama thanked President Obama for inviting everyone over.
In the “Obama is lost without his teleprompter” department, we see what he says without it. From this source we learn:
- While addressing a crowd in Missouri, Obama said the U.S. has so many Arabic interpreters in Iraq that there aren’t enough to help our troops in Afghanistan. “It’s like Arab – Arab – Arabic interpreters, Arab language speakers, we only have a certain number of them, and if they’re all in Iraq, then it’s harder for us to use them,” Obama said. But Afghans do not speak Arabic, senator. They speak Dari and Pashto.
- On (the late) Tim Russert’s “Meet the Press” on May 4, 2008, the senator was asked, “Would you respond against Iran?” He answered, “It – Israel is an ally of ours. It is the most important ally we have in the region, and there’s no doubt that we would act forcefully and appropriately on any attack against Iran, nuclear or otherwise.”
- During his presidential campaign, Obama told an Oregon audience that “I’ve been in 57 states, (with) I think one left to go.”
Obama is very articulate when he has a teleprompter. It’s when he goes off script that he runs into problems. The president is human and he makes mistakes. The media just doesn’t tell us about them, proving their bias by conspicuously ignoring his gaffs.
Making Fun of Obama
This source provides some very funny pictures (that are very close to the truth). Enjoy!
This link shows Obama giving his (now) famous 57 states speech.
Barack Obama’s teleprompter even has its own web site – that’s how big a joke Obama’s use of a teleprompter has become.
From this source we find that Republicans want to cut funding for Obama’s teleprompter. More than 400 amendments were filed Monday night. Among them were a proposal from Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., to eliminate funding for the president’s Teleprompter.
At Hot Air, there is a daily reference to Obama’s teleprompter use, called the “Obamateurism of the Day.” It depicts Obama bowing to a teleprompter, and can usually be found about 2/3 down the page.
Here are links to some YouTube videos making fun of Obama’s teleprompter use.
- David Letterman and the “Obama ‘uh’ count”
- Obama saying “I don’t think” NONE of his saying “I don’t think” were repeats!
- Obama’s Teleprompter Battle Continues at MIT
- Obama speaking at town hall meeting without a teleprompter
- Obama speaking without a script writer
- Obama gets lost reading his teleprompter
So there you have it. President Obama cannot give a speech (of any length or to any audience) without using a teleprompter. And we Americans are viewed as fools by the rest of the world! Is there any wonder that he can’t get anything done domestically or worldwide?
But that’s just my opinion.