Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reflections On The Teleprompter, Part II

I am reposting something from last June. It is about Mitt Romney and his and his reliance on his teleprompter. Seven months later, Romney is still defined by his adaptive device. Every other GOP candidate (Perry possibly notwithstanding)can speak from the heart. I would include Huntsman in that group even if he had nothing to say.

Gingrich wins followers on a visceral level. He wins hearts as well as minds. Yes, the Speaker has a convoluted record (there should be a punctuation mark to distinguish understatement. Maybe an upside down exclamation point.) But the Speaker does project passion. Yes he does.

Unlike a lot of people, I like Mitt Romney. He will be remembered one of two ways: as a good man or a great man. More likely, the former. But I wish he would speak from the cuff and attack Obama and Pelosi and Reid's atrocious record. And I wish he would attack Obama's puppy dogs in the news media. We can dream, can't we?

While we are dreaming, Gingrich is going on the attack. If he lays off Romney and tears into the media industrial complex and their sissy boy puppet, he will win the nomination with Virginia tied behind his back. The party is his oyster.


Monday, June 6, 2011
Is the Ability to Speak Extemporaneously a Gauge of One's Passion?
Rush Limbaugh prides himself on his ability to speak loudly, longly and lovingly without so much as a note card. He addressed the C-PAC crowd in 2009 naked except for his clothes. He attributes this skill to his unbridled passion.

Beck. Palin. Bachmann. Gingrich. They can wing it without a teleprompter even if Sarah might write notes on her hand. Rubio can also go a mile a minute without memory aids. The speakers we like and believe can speak off the cuff.

But maybe extemporaneous speech is just a freakish skill. Like whistling or rapping or rhyming. We don't usually think of these things when we measure a speaker's commitment. Is extemporaneous speaking just one more gimmick?

We have all been in a position where we knew what we thought but we just could not make our point. A universal experience. We were passionate about A, B, C and D but we could not make our point.We have all been there.

I have some sympathy for Walter Mondale, though I would never have voted for him. Fritz is Exhibit A of the politician who could not project his personality to an audience. Believe it or not, Mondale's private persona was warm and carefree. He liked to wear a silly hat and smoke a cigar and crack jokes as he manned his backyard grill. The consummate host. But put in the spotlight, Fritz became Walter and Reagan won by a landslide.

Obama is notably weak on anything impromptu. His reliance on the teleprompter is a national joke. But he is not the best speaker for us to gauge passion because he never really says anything. His speech is mostly void of content so how can we assess if he believes what he is saying? One has to actually say something before we can determine if a person believes what they say.

Which brings us to Mitt Romney. Three miles away from here, Romney announced that he was a 2012 candidate. He used a teleprompter to do so. Ding! Mitt the Flip. Romneycare. Mr. Ethanol. Mr. Farm Subsidy. Mr. Corporate Welfare. Our teleprompter is better than your teleprompter.

A lot has been made of Reagan's thespian background and his application to the political world. Point taken. Maybe he was the great communicator because of his polished skills. Then again, maybe he found public speaking easy because he really believed in what he said.

Whatever else can be said about Romney, I don't see his as the Anti-Obama. Nope. He might be the better of two choices but can he inspire? Can he get the apathetic or the independent or the undecided to vote for him? For that matter, can he inspire his own party to stand behind him?

Until we have that battle of the teleprompters, I will give a long look to any candidate who can speak from the heart. Cain. Bachmann. Even Newt deserves another chance. Hope and change is what we need. More importantly, we need a candidate who can speak those passions without reading them.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Media Monday: Newt Slams Media Bias At New Hampshire Debate


Take This With A Grain Of Salt

For over a year I have read rumors and innuendo about a White House scandal that is about to explode. The rumors allude to a Chicago scandal (Donald Young?)and to the ineptitude and inattention of the president.

Given that this administration is always in cover-up mode, and the president is only capable of muttering a few certain talking points ("millionaires and billionaires...fair share...") suspicion will foment. For all of the campaign's PR brilliance, the administration could never follow up. Only the most loyal supporters hold no curiosity about this man of mystery.

I generally don't pass along rumor or rumors of rumor but given the manner in which The King's Horsemen have spread rumors about Palin (the stellar journalist who spread the rumor that Trig Palin was not Sarah's baby gets to write the lead article in 'Newsweek' entitled "Why Are Obama's Critics So Dumb?") Cain and Gingrich, I don't mind compromising my lofty standards.