December 8, 2015

The backwards notion that Obama was late for the glamorous 2015 Kennedy Center Honors because he needed to give an Oval Office address.

Here's the standard presentation of that notion in People Magazine, replete with video, from which I grabbed this still.



But I think the address was deliberately scheduled to step on the other event. I think his advisers noticed that his attendance at a glamorous Kennedy Center event that night was bad optics so close to the San Bernardino massacre, and they wanted to show him hard at work on the terrorism problem, and they specifically chose to put the address where it would make him late. They chose the Oval Office — where he's only ever spoken twice (both times in 2010) — to draw as much attention to it as possible and to underscore the message that he's on the job, doing all he can to protect us. Unfortunately, Obama failed to really sell that message. The speech was weak in content and delivery. And — this is the part that gets me — he wasn't sitting at the desk in classic Oval Office form. He was standing at a lectern. So the in-the-office, hard-at-work image never came across.

41 comments:

eric said...

Nor will it ever come across because he isn't hard at work.

He is golfing and going to parties.

Original Mike said...

Heaven forfend that he actually skip the party and work the problem.

Mike Sylwester said...

This reminds me of the evening when President Obama went on television to announce that he had arranged the murder of Osama bin Laden.

On that same evening, Donald Trump was arranging to fire the second-to-the-last contestant on Celebrity Apprentice.

Obama's speech was announced to begin at a certain time, but Obama came out about 30 minutes later, right on time to preempt the much anticipated finale of Trump's show.



Sal said...

So the in-the-office, hard-at-work image never came across.

Also having a putter leaning against the wall in the background hurts the hard-at-work image.

traditionalguy said...

It's not easy to take over the World Climate Power plus play the useless "Hide The Terrorist" game all at the same time. Poor guy needs him another million dollar a day Vacation after his Paris fling.

SayAahh said...

I thought standing while at work was a good thing.
But then again.... does he work?

Static Ping said...

So, the lectern thing. Was he wearing pants?

mikeyes said...

Optics may have been the reason, but I suspect that the NFL had a lot more to do with the timing.

Richard Dolan said...

"So the in-the-office, hard-at-work image never came across."

Especially didn't come across to the vast majority who have tuned him out and turned it off.

MayBee said...

This Ace post has the picture I was talking about yesterday, where they set up the lectern in a Reno, Nevada family's driveway when Obama was campaigning.
He has a weird relationship with that lectern!!!!

Anyway, astute observation about the lateness, Althouse.

Anonymous said...

Really? So what? Why is this important? Aren't there more relevant things to criticize the President over?

Hagar said...

I would never say - or write - "only ever."

Hagar said...

Nor "one of the only ..."

Original Mike said...

Recently saw a claim that he attends a party every 3 days.

Roy Jacobsen said...

President Hyacinth Bucket.

cubanbob said...

Optics aside, he could have given the speech the day after, did anyone actually bother themselves to watch it? Was anyone expecting anything different from what he said? Since the rise of the internet I almost near bothered myself to actually watch a presidential speech; no matter who is giving the speech it's a sure bet that it will be long on bullshit and light on concrete proposals. Of course the going to war speeches are something else but did anyone really expect Obama to say anything of importance? Why waste good viewing time when one can get a concise reporting of the speech off the web?

lgv said...

I picture him behind his desk hold a phone upside to his ear, pretending to talk to someone important.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Hardly-at-work.

Tank said...

Roy Jacobsen said...

President Hyacinth Bucket.


You mean boo kay?

Thanks, I needed that laugh.

Tank said...

Blogger Amanda said...

Really? So what? Why is this important? Aren't there more relevant things to criticize the President over?


Most hate crimes are perpetrated against Jews. The President never talks about that, ever. The President is an anti-Israel Jew Hater.

How was that?

Michael K said...

Image is what this president is all about. Substance is a far distant second, or third.

He was standing to make a quick getaway.

jeff said...

Michelle, when can we leave for Hawaii this year? Are we taking separate planes again? I may want to get in another round of golf in after you and those nappy haired kids have to come back.

Sebastian said...

"to draw as much attention to it as possible and to underscore the message that he's on the job, doing all he can to protect us."

Faux semi-outrage, right? I mean, apart from bashing mean GOPers, has he done anything that's not phony?

"Unfortunately, Obama failed to really sell that message." "Unfortunately"? Well, sure, you could say that.

"The speech was weak in content and delivery. And — this is the part that gets me" That, really that, "gets" you? Apologies for the faux surprise.

SukieTawdry said...

At first it was announced he'd be skipping the gala event altogether. I thought fat chance he'd miss the opportunity to swank it up in front of that audience. He's far too much of a peacock. It's exactly as Althouse says.

At least he wasn't slouching back in his chair with his big feet up on the Resolute desk. Of all the negative optics captured during his reign, those are the worst. They epitomize his laziness and apathy and the low regard in which he holds his office and its traditions and his country and the people in it.

William said...

I'm reading about FDR during WWII. He was a semi invalid who didn't put in a lot of hours on the job. Of course, he delegated management of the war to Marshall, Eisenhower, and MacArthur so his lack of energy and effort didn't hurt. Obama's use of the good offices of Hillary, John Kerry, and Loretta Lynch doesn't inspire the same confidence. But Obama wears a tux well, and he always seems well rested and charming. The red carpet becomes him. He's not that impressive in the Oval Office.

Bob Boyd said...

"And — this is the part that gets me — he wasn't sitting at the desk in classic Oval Office form. He was standing at a lectern. "

In his last Oval office speech Obama sat at the desk and bragged about the troop withdrawal from Iraq.
The resulting power vacuum led to the rise of ISIS and the necessity to make this speech.
Maybe Obama's handlers didn't want to dredge that up.

"So the in-the-office, hard-at-work image never came across."

In light of his past performance in the Oval Office, it would probably be more comforting if he gave his speeches from a golf course.

Skeptical Voter said...

Let's just say that "in the office hard at work" has never been part of the "real" image of Barack Obama. In the office with his feet up on the desk--now that's more like it. Add a golf bag behind the desk ready to make a quick dash for the tee time, and you've got the correct image.

As for the speech? In the enlisted ranks in the Army we used to say "same s#$t, different day". William McGurn had it right on the editorial page of the WSJ. He said of Obama's speech "repetition is not persuasion". Unfortunately Obama thinks that if he can just spout the same silly pablum often enough, the morons in the class will ultimately get the message.

Well I got the message all right. Things aren't going to get better until this chump leaves office. And maybe not even then, although inauguration of his successor will be a start.

SukieTawdry said...

This Ace post has the picture I was talking about yesterday, where they set up the lectern in a Reno, Nevada family's driveway when Obama was campaigning.
He has a weird relationship with that lectern!!!!


Remember after his first election when the lectern started sporting the Seal of the President-Elect of the United States? He does have a weird relationship with it.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I was astonished when O began his address on time. It was the only time I have ever heard of when he was punctual. Lateness is a sure sign of narcissism.

cubanbob said...

Amanda said...
Really? So what? Why is this important? Aren't there more relevant things to criticize the President over?

12/8/15, 10:37 AM

Of course there are and those things are noted here almost everyday. So tell us in your opinion what are the more relevant things to criticize him for. What have the commentators on this blog missed in the list of more important criticisms?

tim maguire said...

If he were Republican, he'd be expected to not so much as smile until the terrorists were beaten. But as a Democrat, it's enough that he's late to his next party.

PB said...

I love it when he says, "I won't rest until..." Then jets off to a fundraiser or to play golf.

David said...

I'm surprised he didn't address the nation in his tux.

Where did Roosevelt go after he addressed the joint session of Congress after Pearl Harbor?

FleetUSA said...

I agree, the lectern was terrible for the optics even if the speech was blah, blah, blah.

FleetUSA said...

p.s. He's easily beating Jimmy Carter to the bottom now.

Dude1394 said...

He was standing so he could get out of there as fast as possible.

Gahrie said...

Really? So what? Why is this important? Aren't there more relevant things to criticize the President over?

Yes. Oh so many. So very many.

That doesn't make this criticism wrong.

Rocketeer said...

Am I the only one that noticed that not only was he at a lectern in front of the desk - but that all of the pictures on the desk were purposely turned the wrong way (facing the camera) and thoughtfully arranged for all of us to see? Family photos, framed snaps of The Layabout Prince receiving accolades from famous personages - it was clearly calculated and contrived. So contrived, in fact, that the contrivedness distracted me from whatever crap he was trying to sell.

SteveR said...

Asshole

mikee said...

Obama stood up at a lectern for this address because his empty Oval Office chair was busy getting ready to attend the gala.

See, I made a "president is best represented by an empty chair" joke!

Because an empty chair would have done a better job as president than he has.

Carter, bask in your reclaimed glory, for you are no longer the worst US president in living memory.

Paul said...

Carter lost that place to Obama 4 years ago.

Now I see Carter was just a good person overwhelmed by his job. He really did care.

Obama, on the other hand, just does not care.