Thursday, March 5, 2009

Obama Doesn’t Go Anywhere Without His Teleprompter


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.

Resting on top of a tall, narrow pole, they flank his podium during speeches in the White House’s stately parlors. They stood next to him on the floor of a manufacturing plant in Indiana as he pitched his economic stimulus plan. They traveled to the Department of Transportation this week and were in the Capitol Rotunda last month when he paid tribute to Abraham Lincoln in six-minute prepared remarks.

Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual – not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events large and small.

After the teleprompter malfunctioned a few times last summer and Obama delivered some less-than-soaring speeches, reports surfaced that he was training to wean himself off of the device while on vacation in Hawaii. But no luck. . . .

“It’s just something presidents haven’t done,” said Martha Joynt Kumar, a presidential historian who has held court in the White House since December of 1975. “It’s jarring to the eye. In a way it stands in the middle between the audience and the president because his eye is on the teleprompter.”

As I said repeatedly while the liberal left was busy getting smarmy and sanctimonious about Bush’s speech impediments, and the arrogant derision of Sarah Palin’s down-home accent, I’m a guy who appreciates form over substance. My President could stagger up to the podium and address the nation with a grammatically-challenged stutter while scratching at food stains on his shirt and I wouldn’t care as long as he was pursuing and attaining sound policy. But after all the aspersions the left has hurled at Bush, Palin, etc. for the way they speak to see Obama struggle at saying anything that isn’t scripted for him by his handlers is pretty funny.

I don’t think Obama and his need to have someone else feed him his lines necessarily makes him a bad President. But it does make the people who aren’t holding him to the same standard Bush, Palin, etc. were held to for it a bunch of hypocrites.

By Rob

Baroccoli with no Teleprompter: