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 March, 2009


 More Republican Hypocrisy

The Party of Britney

When conservative pundits can’t find the Obama Achilles, they can always point to the president’s abundant use of what’s known as teleprompters.

For me, that won’t fly either. Presidents have used electronic reading devices to enable their speechmaking for many years. It’s just that Obama does it so naturally – some people (usually those who’ve never even seen a working teleprompter) – think he’s either being deceitful or he’d be at a loss for words without one.

During my nearly two decades of working in the television business, I made daily use of teleprompters. Remove it, and I’m certainly not at any particular loss for words. Why, then, would anybody think of the president as some kind of scatter-brain without his? Because, I suppose, the people making those claims are scatter-brains.

The day following Obama’s most recent news conference, an Associated Press writer – Joe Fournier - devoted much of his coverage of it to Obama and his teleprompter. It’s as if he’d never been in a room with a politician and a teleprompter at the same time.

Fournier overlooked the eight previous years, when George W. Bush was at a loss for words - while he was reading from a teleprompter.

I’ve even found an article (an unfair one) that took issue with Bush reading the phonetically spelled (French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s last name, appears in the teleprompter as sar-KO-zee) proper names.

Yet, even the most polished TV news anchor reads from a teleprompter containing phonetically spelled proper names.

All of this, in Obama’s regard, is the apparent inability for the supposed “loyal opposition” to come up with a barb that sticks with the American public.

If after an hour long news conference, a criticism worthy of mention is Obama’s supposed flagrant use of a speechmaking aid that’s been used by presidents for decades, it’s no wonder his job approval numbers are as high as ever.

The morning of that news conference, a CBS News poll showed Obama’s job approval numbers actually jumped two points to 64% from 62% the previous week. His disapproval numbers dropped four points, from 24% to 20%.

The American public is frankly seeing through all of that nonsense about Obama being a “socialist,” who simply wants to destroy this country with his “outrageous” spending policies.

Only those people who think his use teleprompters is an indication of something lacking in his character, are the ones left in that 20%.

People like radio talk show host Tammy Bruce, who took delight in claiming Michelle Obama has brought “trash to the White House,” are proving to have little effect on the president’s popularity.

If Obama appears on television and he happens to smile, that can cause a mini-explosion of derision. But it doesn’t cause his supporters to abandon him. They seem to like his smile.

When Republicans issue statement after statement claiming there’ll be gazillion dollar deficits that will arise if the president keeps getting his way, nobody seems to be paying any attention to them anymore. Republicans seem to have all of the answers, but none of the solutions.

What a lousy position to be in. They’re trying to find a leader worth following, but at present, none has made a lick of sense. Michael Steele is mostly silent. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) decided the night of the president’s news conference was a great night to take in a Britney Spears concert. The Republican leaderships in the House and Senate are suffering from some sort of new idea paralysis. Meanwhile, there’s the frequent claim that the president is overexposing himself with his frequent appearances before television cameras. I say why not? With or without a teleprompter he’s using his current popularity to discuss the things that got him elected. Anybody who tries to tell you they’re surprised by his plans – weren’t listening during the presidential campaign.

That’s why it’s hilarious when those same 20%ers feign anger at his emphasis on health care, education, the economy and the environment.

To coin a phrase from a well-known television commercial – HE IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net