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Obama and his teleprompter
Can the president function without an electronic script?
 

The right’s silly “fascination with President Obama and teleprompters” seems to have gone mainstream, said Steve Benen in The Washington Monthly. In an “analysis” of Obama’s Tuesday press conference, the AP’s Ron Fournier described the teleprompter Obama used for his opening statement as a “familiar crutch,” as if it were unusual for presidents to read prepared statements. That’s an “analysis”? “From where, the Republican National Committee?”

Well, seriously, said John Hindraker in Power Line, “everyone knows that Barack Obama is lost without his teleprompter.” But even the teleprompter can’t save him from every “blunder,” like when he mispronounced “Orion” a number of times. Add astronomy to the list of subjects on which “Obama is incredibly ignorant,” joining history and economics.

Critics of Obama’s teleprompter use have a point, said Peter Baker in The New York Times online. He uses the device more “extensively” than any president since Eisenhower—for “everyday speeches and statements,” not just major addresses, like past presidents. No wonder Obama’s teleprompter has its own blog and Facebook page.

Still, this whole Obama-can’t-survive-without-it attack “sort of baffles me,” said Michael Scherer in Time. “So he likes reading from a screen and not a piece of paper,” like some of his predecessors. Obama won three unscripted presidential debates and slays at every press availability. “Does anyone really doubt Obama’s ability to speak cogently and in detail without notes”?

 

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