Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The "Teleprompt President"

"...Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was just a few paragraphs into an address in Washington when he realised it all sounded a bit too familiar.

It was. He was repeating the speech President Barack Obama had just read from the same teleprompter.

Mr Cowen stopped, turned to the president and said: "That's your speech."

A laughing Mr Obama returned to the podium to take over but it seems the script had finally been switched and the US president ended up thanking himself for inviting everyone to the party.

Mr Obama is an accomplished orator but is becoming known in America as the "teleprompt president" over his reliance on the machine when he gives a speech..." (source)

I like how the journalist apologizes for him in that last paragraph...he is "an accomplished orator"...really. Though, maybe he smoked a bit too much dope and has killed his short term memory? I don't know where the great orator comes in...all those "uhs" and my public speaking teacher would have failed him for sure.

Do "great orators" need to read their speeches word for word? Heck, Reagan even WROTE his own speeches. Bush rarely used a teleprompter -and preferred cue words on 3X5 cards (that's the way we were taught to give a speech). I know the Left loves to berate Sarah Palin, but what happened when her teleprompter went down? She went on with her speech and improvised seamlessly where she needed to.

So, great orator? IMO, Not so much. Great at hiring someone to come up with a word ("change"). Absolutely.

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