Obama’s missing eloquence
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Victor Davis Hanson has a great piece up about Obama and his increasing petulance and declining poll numbers:
The president does not conduct himself in a sober and judicious manner and neither do those around him. On any given day he can slur Arizonans as wanting to round up innocents on the way to ice cream. He can slander police as stupidly acting stereotypers. The attorney general can call us cowards and swear without reading a bill that it profiles the innocent. Legitimate worry over a Ground Zero mosque translates into anti-constitutional efforts to stifle freedom of worship. Those with money — defined by an arbitrary annual income level of $250,000 — owe the rest of us their ill-gotten gains. Surgeons transmogrify into tonsil-loppers, insurers are greedy, investors are put back at the end of the creditor line; all are worthy of a boot on their necks and a kick in the ass.
The first lady can likewise say anything at anytime that would earn about a 10% approval rating. “Deign to run,” “raise the bar,” “never been proud before,” “downright mean country,” and all that have gone somnolent only because of a fleeting January 2009 70% approval rating. When polls hit 40%, expect the 2008 tropes to return. The result won’t be pretty. Bush was stoic and philosophical at 38% after six years; the aggrieved Obamas will not be after two.
He then goes on to address his poor public speaking. Obama blunders as soon as he is off the teleprompter. Hanson’s verdict is just as blunt and just as accurate:
Obama blunders as soon as he is off te teleprompter3) There is no eloquence, period. Part is the fault of the worst speech-writing team in modern presidential memory. They make the most elemental of errors, whether turning Cordoba into a beacon of Islamic tolerance during the Inquisition or claiming “Mexicans” were here in North America before Americans, well before the idea of the nation of Mexico existed.
The president himself suffers from three rhetorical liabilities. He simply cannot leave the teleprompter — even for a second. To do so means that “like a dog” petulance immediate spews forth. Second, the divergence from his sort of nerdy Harvard Law Review wonk-talk and his Rev. Wright black-church preaching is simply too wide to suggest that he is just modulating Hillary-like for audiences. Instead, the Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde deliveries infer not just patronizing, but something far more disturbing: Mr. Obama does not seem to know himself quite who he is. Third, he cannot leave the campaign mode. So all his lectures are rehashes of hope-and-change, Bush did it, I, I, I, me, me, me, my, my, my — spiced with the now tedious “Let Me Be Perfectly Clear” and “Make No Mistake About It,” as if we are inattentive school children and he the headmaster at the front of the room clamoring for our attention. The result? He is overexposed to the point that eyes roll and backs turn when he drops his g’s and starts in on “they” and “them.”
Lets be merciful and hope he is a one-termer.