Yesterday's column ("TelePrompter 101") was the most-read piece on the Philadelphia Daily News opinion page and it generated lots of comment on the philly.com web site.
I appreciate all of the interest and comments -- both pro and con.
I always learn something from the readers.
Here are some of the comments, unedited:
Obama does not read everything from a teleprompter. Like the president before him, who fumbled words even with one, he uses it as a tool rather than hold papers, index card, etc. Amazing how, with the economy as it is and all the other problems, the biggest problem for some people is the use of a teleprompter.
This article is a perfect example of someone who does not like the president and is looking for a way to insult him. I do not care if the president uses a prompter or note cards. I care if the president's policies move the country forward. Clearly the author does not care about such niceties.
The dependence on the Teleprompter is very relevant because it puts the lie to the notion that Obama is an original thinker with important, innovative ideas to move this country forward. If he was and if he was confident in his convictions, the power of his arguments and his own intellect, confident in his actual ability to "think on his feet" and effectively articulate his ideas, he wouldn't depend so neurotically on the Teleprompter. He does so precisely because he knows what 47% of the voting public knew on November 4: he's in way over his head, inexperienced and in no way "ready for primetime." Many more Americans are quickly figuring this out --- almost as fast as Uhuhuhbama.
As if Bush never used a teleprompter - which made his mangling of the English language even more remarkable.
While I agree that there are more important things than whether or not the President uses a teleprompter, it cannot be denied that nearly all of his early credibility as "candidate Obama" was gained on our fascination with his abilities as a speaker. His speaking abilities were interpreted as a sign of extraordinary wisdom, intelligence, insight, and thoughtfulness. Rather than fairly exploring his competancies in these areas, we were compelled to accept these competancies as genuine based largely on his stylistic delivery of speeches. Few who supported him did not cheerfully welcome the broadening of merit provided their candidate as a result of this society's willingness to draw elaborate conclusions about the man.
When Sarah Palin made her speech at the convention, the dems cried out: "Oh, she read it from a teleprompter! She just read what somebody else wrote. She's too stupid to have written it herself." No now we get Nobama reading words that somebody else wrote on the teleprompter. But we're supposed to believe that he's smart and articulate. He just reads what somebody else wrote, because he's too stupid to have any original thoughts of his own. As usual, the Democrat double standard is at work here. And who writes his speeches? George Soros? Bill Ayers?
Obama's reliance on the teleprompter reminds me of the great Oz in the wizard of Oz. It only begs to ask, Who is behind the curtain? By the way, the last time Obama was off of the teleprompter, he gave us Joe the Plumber. He can not go off of the teleprompter because he is afraid he may reveal what his ultimate goal is... (destruction of capitalizm, redistribution of wealth (except his own), etc.)
Dear Mr. Cirucci, Your guy lost. Get over it. And if you really want me to take you seriously as someone who is an expert in communication, it would help if you came from somewhere other than one of the Penn State campuses. I've seen your graduates. I'm not impressed.
Republicans are such paethetic, petty and stupid people. Go away creeps! Obamma is a very good communicator. He didn't have a tele-prompter or notes during the debates and he outshone both the Republicans and other Democrats. He's giving lots of press conference and is discussing many complex issues. That's why he using the tele-prompter. Reagan had a great memory until he testified about the Iran-Contra scandal. Then he seemed to forget everything. The "art of memorization"? What's that? I spent 25 years in theatre and have no idea what you're talking about. Neither do you.
Don't they all use tele-prompters? Didn't Bush? What a bunch of stupid sh*t to point out.
In the past, they've all used teleprompters for major speeches, not for small, short announcements and introductions. The difference is, Barry and his handlers have sold him based largely on his eloquence and his Kennedyesque ability to speak. As it turns out, off the 'prompter he hems and haws ("uh...uh...uh...," "aaaaaaannnnd") and makes stupid social faux pas (Nancy Reagan seances, fat Jessica Simpson, Special Olympics bowling skills) worse than George W. Bush, whose fumbles were more often than not a function of his dyslexia. The social faux pas are especially telling because it reveals an apparently insecure man who, while possessing no real sense of self-deprecating humor, certainly has a mean streak for trying to get laughs at others' expense, even the handicapped.