Obama Is Addicted to the TeleprompterMarch 6th, 2009 - 9:50 pm ICT by GD
Barack Obama may soon be known as the Teleprompter President as his dependence on his teleprompters get more notice every day. He goes nowhere without them and is not usually seen speaking without their help.
Onlookers have found that Obama with and without his teleprompter becomes two different men. While the President is fluid in his speech and shows total poise in a prepared speech, his unscreened answers or extempore speech are too full of the universal filler “umm”. It has become obvious that he cannot go beyond the scripted words without a good deal of stuttering, causing a fresh wave of criticism of the president who cannot speak off the cuff.
According a report in the New York Times, Obama is possibly the only American President in 50 years to have such a major dependence on his Teleprompter. Other Presidents used teleprompters on their most important speeches, whether it was the inaugural speech or the Oval Office address. But Obama uses them for routine announcements too. He used them on a visit to the Caterpillar plant in Peoria, Ill and then to make remarks about his “fiscal responsibility summit”. He even used them to talk about endangered species of animals reading out from the teleprompter, “That was an experience I will never forget.”
The New York Times also says, “For Mr. Obama, a teleprompter means message discipline, sticking close to the intended words. While some presidents prefer extemporizing, Mr. Obama likes the message to be just so. After all, he is a best-selling author who has helped write a lot of his major speeches, so he presumably feels a certain fidelity to the crafted text.”
Awkwardness often ensues like the time he introduced Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as the Health and Human Services secretary and when she came up to the stage, she could speak only before the teleprompters were lowered. Also, critics say Obama is losing some credibility because he almost never establishes eye contact with his audience while reading out from the teleprompter.
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