Ed Morissey is pushing a video of Obama stumbling over words for a second, and apparently it was not exciting enough as is that they had to loop it several times to make it feel more awkward. At any rate, this is all part of a delightful little push by the right the last few weeks to inform us that Obama can’t communicate very well.
The first I remember of this nonsense is with Dean Barnett during the campaign (with a willing assist from serious reporter Jake Tapper), but in the past few weeks I have seen a concerted push. There was this piece by Alex Conant in the Politico about the myths of Obama:
2. Obama is a great communicator. Cut away the soaring rhetoric in his speeches, and the resulting policy statements are often vague, lawyerly and confusing. He is not plain-spoken: He parses his language so much that a casual listener will miss important caveats. That’s in part why he uses teleprompters for routine policy statements: He chooses his words carefully, relying heavily on ill-defined terms like “deficit reduction” (which means tax increases, rather than actual “savings”) and “combat troops” (as opposed to “all troops in harm’s way”).
Who is Alex Conant? Why, he is “a communications consultant who served as the Republican National Committee’s national press secretary during the 2008 presidential campaign.” An impartial source, no doubt.
Of all the pitfalls Barack Obama might face in the presidency, here is one not many people predicted: He is struggling as a public communicator.
You can do your own search for Obama + teleprompter, but you shouldn’t be surprised. This is little more than the Rove strategy of attacking the strength of your opponent. One of Obama’s great skills is that he is a good communicator, so much so that the Republicans spent the previous year running around saying things like “just words” and trying to paint him as a celebrity.
So just realize what they are doing. And then get a laugh that the party who gave us eight years of a stammering George Bush and then followed it up with the rambling idiocy of Sarah Palin is seriously trying to pretend that Obama is a bad communicator. And if all else fails, watch this:
That, my friends, is a failure to communicate.
*** Update ***
I had forgotten how much fun that video was. I love that it starts with his ode to Hillary, in which he laments the media was too hard on her, as that was at the time part of their coordinated (and laughable) effort to woo the PUMA crowd. Also, at about 5 minutes in, the crowd “erupts” into a cheer and they give a crowd shot of about 20 people shouting “Go John McCain!” and waving one pathetic hand made sign that said “Mac Attack.” Good times. Also, this Toobin reaction was priceless: