FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Can we Dispense with the ‘President Obama Didn’t Use a TelePrompTer Last Night!’ Charade Already?
Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan -- but we've known that for a while now.
Yes, he left the old familiar glass-paneled prompters that helped him recall childhood memories he said he would “never forget,” that helped him talk down to attendants at dirt-floored midwestern appearances, and that allowed him to thank himself for a St. Patrick’s Day invitation. But it wasn’t because he didn’t need them, or because he could be trusted to speak on his own to a room full of reporters and a few thousand people watching on television around the country. Rather, it was because he was upgraded to a full-size plasma screen at the back of the room from which to read his remarks.
Here’s a still from Fox News of Obama reading his speech from the new, Giant TelePrompTer:
Look, you can give him (or his handlers) credit for realizing what a story the glass plates the supposedly-articulate president had become utterly dependent on to make anything remotely resembling a coherent public address. However, you can’t give them credit, as so many are trying to do this morning, for ditching the scripting altogether, any more than you can give a kid credit for no longer cheating on a test because he scrubbed the answers off of his forearm and instead brought them to class on a piece of poster board.
Our own Mark Impomeni, writing at AOL, had this to say:
In a sure sign that it has been stung by criticism of President Barack Obama’s over-reliance on a TelePrompTer, the White House made a change in location for the device for the president’s prime time press conference last night. Gone were the familiar dual glass panels on either side of the podium from which Obama is so adroit at reading prepared remarks, and which have been popping up in more and more news photos of him. Instead, the president delivered his opening remarks reading from a flat panel placed at the back of the room.
The move allowed Obama to offer his remarks while looking directly at the camera, instead of turning from side to side as has become familiar. However, in this observer’s opinion, the president’s delivery suffered. He was not as smooth and lacked his usual cadence. The White House insists there is nothing wrong or unusual with President Obama’s use of the speaking aide. But by moving the device, the president’s handlers put the lie to their own statements. If the Administration was truly unconcerned about the growing criticism of Obama’s use of a TelePrompTer, it would have set the East Room up in exactly the same way it did for the president’s first press conference. Ironically, in trying to blunt his critics, the White House has drawn more attention to the president’s use of the device.
The Fox News video is below:
This has become a much bigger deal than it otherwise would have been because the Left really can’t accept that their Anointed One, whom they marketed as the greatest orator since Cicero, is no better a public speaker than previous president they lampooned for eight-plus years as barely more literate and articulate than a baboon.
Here’s a tip for Democrats: it’s not the end of the world when your leader is poorly-spoken, unable to stay on message, and devoid of any specific ideas or leadership ability — but the first step in addressing that reality is cutting through the denial and admitting you have the problem in the first place. If qualities opposite those you projected on President Bush really are that important to you, the 2011 primary will be here soon enough, and you can make a change at the top of the ticket for someone who isn’t the very embodiment of the Bush caricature you’ve pushed since 2000.
Either way, an inability to speak in public isn’t the worst thing in the world. After all, we’ve all known for quite some time now that Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan.