April 27, 2014

"Obama does a great job delivering the speech, even though the words of the speech are quite banal."

"There are many references to hope. The speech is blessedly short. Cheers, waving signs. Cue the music."
Now here is a speaker I can stand to listen to....
That's the first thing I wrote about Barack Obama on this blog. It was July 27, 2004.

The next decently substantive thing I said quoted Obama — "I think to some degree I’ve become a shorthand or symbol or stand-in for a spirit" — and commented: "It's appealing to concede that, isn't it? Though eventually Barack Obama will have to be something specific, won't he? Wouldn't it be funny if he didn't?" And:
It's actually rather embarrassing for him to campaign for the Presidency openly admitting that he's doing well because he's a blank screen upon which people project their hopes. Even purely for the sake of appearances, he needs to get some substance.


Michael K said...

Surprising you would want to remember that so well.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Even purely for the sake of appearances, he needs to get some substance."

He's not interested in "style points," remember?

cubanbob said...

Yes it's true Obama is great at speeches. Let's ammend the constitution and make him a ceremonial president like the president of Germany and elect a real leader as prime minister.

Big Mike said...

"Wouldn't it be funny if he didn't?"

He didn't and it isn't.

madAsHell said...

Yes it's true Obama is great at speeches.

....and I'm a babe magnet.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

What should one make of someone who saw that yet nevertheless voted for this destructive cipher?

What of her subsequent claims, say, of racism and homophobia and other New Crimes?

Michael K said...

"He's not interested in "style points," remember?"

That may be true but he has nothing else.

glenn said...

Apparently 58 million Americans like blank screens. Tells me all I need to know about the state of what used to be my country. Oh, BTW, Ann, you did vote for him, right?

Ann Althouse said...


Google: althouse how mccain lost me

It was explained at the time and has been explained many times since then.

Why do you continually forget… or pretend to forget?

In the end, one always only chooses from the existing choices presented at the time of decision. It seems childish and petulant to cling to the illusion that something other than that is happening.

Bob Loblaw said...

Except he really wasn't such a blank screen. He was and is a hopeless partisan lefty hack, and he has governed like one.

Most of us feel that words count; that what someone says should mean something. Obama's postmodern presidency seems to assert something else; that words do count as a way to achieve certain ends, and using them to get your way is most important. The content is malleable and not to be taken literally.

Donna B. said...

I have never understood why Obama has a reputation as a great speaker. His voice has a droning quality that -- at best -- puts me to sleep. At worst, it's like a buzzing mosquito.

PB Reader said...

Blank screen AND empty suit.

MayBee said...

He had a few moments as a great speaker, and sometimes back then his speeches hid his lefty hackness. He lost something the moment he was inaugurated in 2008. That speech was dull (to the point some tried to imagine he'd made it dull as a statement) and he's been mostly dull ever since.

Has there been any president so much different and so much less than who he was as a candidate?
Surely Obama is the least like his candidate self.

Mark said...

Funny as a broken leg. Funny as still clinging to the belief that McCain would/could have been worse. (He would have been an Evil Republican in an environment - House, Senate, and Press - dominated by the Democratic Forces for Good. Therefore, his ability to have been worse would have been extremely curtailed, a calculus you, a Law Professor, should have been able to do.)

Seriously, I blame you and your peer group for the mess Obama's made. Like all other con artists, the Grifter in Chief only wins the game because the suckers so desperately wanted to believe the con. Post-hoc justifications don't change the score.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

I remember that explanation at the time. It didn't make sense then and doesn't now.

Obama is a sociopath, and you couldn't see it at the time. I get that; I've been burned by them myself several times in my life.

Yet in your 2004 post you had the evidence of sociopathy right before you ("openly admitting that he's doing well because he's a blank screen upon which people project their hopes").

Serial killers are no different. Their desires are much simpler however.

McCain was a buffoon, a standard issue big government pol. But he was not a sociopath. He would not have shredded the Constitution as Obama has done.

Your choice was a terrible one, far poorer of the two bad choices. I doubt we can recover from it.

jacksonjay said...

Except he really wasn't such a blank screen.

Bill Ayers
Jeremiah Wright
Louis Farrakhan
Rashid Khalidi
Tony Rezko
Marshall Davis
Derrick Bell
Saul Alinsky
An autobiography and a policy position book


enough Senate votes to paint a clear picture!

AJ Lynch said...

Obama definitely overuses the word "folks" as if he knows any regular ones. Plus he is just one dumb mofo as proven by the last five years- he truly does not get what motivates the regular Joe to get up and go to work, etc. Of course that is understandable since Obama was nothing but a community organizer in real life.

Obama will go down as the silky, smooth but oh so stupid failed president.

Jason said...

As a politician and leader, how in God's name can you be "good at speeches" if all your speeches are shit?

He's not Charleton Heston, playing a role with a voice so strong and trained he can make a phone book recitation sound good. He's an actual political leader, head of state and (until the usless SOB abdicated the role) leader of the free world.

And his speeches are full of straw men, misrepresentations, and laugh lines.

"No nation can or should dominate another," he told the Muslim World even while our troops were embattled in Iraq. It's a laughably stupid construction, even without the hypocrisy.

And then there's "If you like your plan you can keep your plan." How many stump speeches did he say that in? And we now know that it was a considered lie.

So how can an American President be considered "great at speeches" and not have any responsibility for their content?

prairie wind said...

Yes it's true Obama is great at speeches.

He's petulant, boastful, ignorant, bullying. I will never understand that belief that he's great at speechmaking. When people say that, I think they must be channeling Joe Biden's "clean, articulate" thoughts.

Sigivald said...

Turns out a nice speaking voice isn't an agenda or a set of policies, is it?

Who could have possibly guessed?

rhhardin said...

Guys figured right away that it was an estrogen rush.

Kirk Parker said...

I'm with Pogo. Made no sense then; makes no sense now.

Yes, McCain's performance and behavior were terrible; I've never said otherwise. But compared to "this is the moment the oceans stopped rising" megalomania?????? Gack.

Doug said...

"Outstanding speaker", really? Zerobama possesses that most annoying of liberal affectations - the whistling S. Garrison Keillor, Dan Rather, and this sack of lint all have it - and have you noticed that His Hopeness can turn it on and off in the same conversation? Talk about your dog whistles!

clarice said...

McCain was no perfect candidate, but Obama's weaknesses were evident to anyone who was paying attention and those weaknesses have proven a national disaster.