Obama and the Uh’s, Ah’s, and Ummm’s

Much has been made by some conservative pundits about Obama being teleprompter dependent and how he racks up the speech pauses when he goes off the cuff. One might recall Rush Limbaugh compiling just the “uh’s” in an Obama appearance for comedic effect or Hugh Hewitt wondering how many of the awkward pauses he would accumulate during the first debate.

I don’t think the issue is that Obama is ‘prompter dependent or that he is inarticulate off the cuff. I followed him closely during the Democratic primary season and found him smooth whether working from prepared remarks or not.

The reason he has begun to seem halting is simple. Obama runs effortlessly to the left because that is his comfort zone. When he can give the “workers of the world unite” rhetoric and promote his reasons for dovish foreign policy, he is at home, talking to his people about what they all believe. That’s why he was so good in the primaries.

But in the general, he faces a different problem. He can’t roll the same way. He has to think carefully about what he says because all kinds of Americans are paying attention. Those pauses are necessary because the wheels do need to turn. He HAS to find the nuance in order to avoid appearing radical.

Just a little note to the moderates . . .

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2 thoughts on “Obama and the Uh’s, Ah’s, and Ummm’s

  1. Obama is turning out to be The Big Let-Down of ’08.
    Obama kept insinuating that He is The Second Coming but every time we’ve held our breaths waiting for him to change water into wine, we’ve been disappointed. Obama kept telling us to ‘tune in next week!’ and he never delivers, the miracle never comes. There is nothing there.
    Obama’s has a problem with clarity. I have systematically studied both his autobiographies and I still don’t know what kind of man I’m dealing with. When he was first showcased on TV, my interest was aroused. I used to find Obama enigmatic, but now he just comes off as vacuous, empty.
    Obama’s two books address the questions of “Journey of Discovery to Where?” and “Who Am I?” We can all relate to such pondering. But Obama does not give us an answer. If he has found the answer since publishing those two books two years ago then he hasn’t told us yet.
    McCain has been on a longer and harder personal journey. There can be nothing more extreme than surviving daily torture for five years. Can you imagine that? To be beaten day-in and day-out, starved, your hands and legs bound by chains? McCain already knows what he can take, and humbly knows where he breaks. Every man and woman has a breaking point. It is very human. McCain already knows his, even though he held out as long as he could.
    What trials or stories of human devastation has Obama endured? I can’t imagine being Black in America is an easy thing. But Obama was raised in Polynesia by white grandparents and then went on to Harvard, community service, the Senate, and now the presidency. Obama’s journey seems to have been very easy. His skin color opened all the right doors for him instead of slamming them shut. Obama didn’t march against segregation. Obama didn’t fight for affirmative action. He planted no tree. He carried no water for that tree. Obama has just come along and picked the fruits. That is easy street. This is not a great American story. This is not a triumph of will over adversity. This is a story of baby-boomer entitlement. This is the story of the yuppy next door. These stories are a dime a dozen on aisle 3 at Whole Foods.
    You may agree or disagree with McCain but at least you know where he stands. He has a long track record to judge him by. McCain has a long list of hits and misses. He has made mistakes (like us all) but that is because he had been trying to do things and change things all his life. Obama markets himself as the candidate with an unblemished record, but that is only because he doesn’t have a record. We have nothing to judge Obama by. All he gives us is his word and we are supposed to put all our trust in his future promises. But these promises keep changing: Obama has produced two contradictory promises on Iraq, two contradictory promises on NAFTA, and two contradictory promises on taxes. Are we supposed to judge him by the original promise he made, or by his most recent one? The candidate who flows with the changing winds of polls is the lightweight. That much we know.
    I feel very embarrassed for buying into the Obama phenomena. Maybe now that the weather is changing I see things in a new light. I feel sheepish for falling for the marketing pitch. Where do I go to get a refund?
    I think that many voters like me are looking for clarity in our next president. I feel I know what kind of man McCain is, and that I can trust him. McCain gets my vote.

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