Friday, July 27, 2012

Obama Being A Verbal Stubmlebum Is Anything But New

Six words, four words, two words. Obama has improved his efficiency when it comes to teleprompterless gaffes.

Six words: "The private sector is doing fine."

Four words: "You didn't build that"

Two words: "It worked."

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air says this about the state Obama finds himself in:

Old and busted: Barack Obama is the most gifted orator in American politics since … well, FDR, Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, take your pick. New hotness: The President can’t express himself clearly without his apologists at the ready to explain his “context.”

Not really. I mean, perhaps the public perception is moving from great orator to tongue-tied gaffe-master.

But not reality.

In 2008, we knew that when Obama was off the teleprompter, he was prone to say more "uhs and ahs" than any other word in his vocabulary (including "hope", "change" and even "I" or "me"):


In 2008, we knew that Obama gaffed himself into more than one situation that necessitated coming back to explain "the context"

Bitter clingers:

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said yesterday that he "mangled" his words when he described small town Americans as "bitter" at a private San Francisco fundraiser.

Obama spoke to the Philadelphia Daily News editorial board last night, after a long weekend spent clarifying his statement that many small town voters had grown "bitter" over their economic status and "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."[…]

"My syntax was poor," Obama said.

Jerusalem should be undivided:

Senator Obama, in his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said, "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." The next day, an unnamed adviser tried to "clarify" the statement to suggest it left room for Palestinian sovereignty.

On Sunday in a CNN interview, Fareed Zakaria questioned Mr. Obama about his AIPAC speech supporting Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Mr. Zakaria asked him, "why not support the Clinton plan, which envisions a divided Jerusalem."

Mr. Obama responded, "the truth is that this was an example where we had some poor phrasing in the speech" and a reminder of the need to be "careful in terms of our syntax." He said his point had been "simply" that "we don't want barbed wire running through Jerusalem, similar to the way it was prior to the '67 war

In 2008, we were told Obama was trying to wean himself from the teleprompter:

According to several Democrat political consultants presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama spent part of his Hawaiian vacation working on weaning himself from a heavy dependence on teleprompters. Even in what are staged as "town hall" events for Obama, remarks are scripted or formatted into bullet points that scroll on teleprompter screens. Obama has had several embarrassing events where the teleprompter either malfunctioned or the screens were not fully visible.

"He just locks down and can't get the words out," says one political consultant. "For such a fine speaker, it's really quite remarkable that he's had issues."

The fact that Obama is now again trying to give up the teleprompter -- to such great electoral calamity for himself -- tells us exactly how successful he was in 2008.

And the list goes on. From "57 states, one left to go . . . besides Hawaii and Alaska" to asthmatics needing "breathalyzers", there is almost no end to the evidence that Obama is not a great orator.

And again, while it may be the New Hotness for the media and wider public to recognize it -- Obama being a verbal stubmlebum is anything but new.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Maybe Obama's Plan Did Work

At a fundraiser in Oakland, Obama tells us why he's running for a second term:

“We tried that and it didn’t work,” Obama said of Mitt Romney’s proposed tax cuts and spending cuts, which he dismissed as a Bush-style “top down” economic policy. “Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan — and it worked,” he added later in the speech. “That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for a second term.”

Add this to what Obama said last month: "The private sector is doing fine."

So let's assume that Obama truly believes that the private sector is doing fine because his plan worked -- that the current state of the economy, at least in the private sector, is where he wants it to be. That state of the economy? Take it away Jim Geraghty (click through to see all the links he provides for the stats he gives):

Forty-one straight months of unemployment above 8 percent, 8.2 million people working part-time who want full-time work, a record 88 million Americans not in the labor force, 1.9 percent GDP growth in the past quarter, more bad GDP numbers expected tomorrow, a stagnant housing market, $5 trillion in new debt, the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, 38 percent of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, 45 million Americans on food stamps, food prices continuing to increase dramatically, the poverty level likely to rise to the highest level in nearly fifty years…

I'm beginning to wonder if we all didn't misinterpret Obama's famous comments after securing enough delegates for the Democratic nomination in 2008. Maybe we took him too literally, and should have read between the lines? Let's look at it again in the context of Obama's view on the economy today:

"I am absolutely certain that we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow [you know, the one that is said to lift all boats]."

Obama's plan worked!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On This Date In 2008

Four years ago today, Barack Obama delivered a speech at Berlin's Siegessäuleto to an estimated crowd of more than 200,000.

Obama introduced himself as a "fellow citizen of the world" while proclaiming that he didn't "look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city."

Some of the reactions from around the world that followed his speech:

The Guardian (UK): Obama wows Berlin crowd with historic speech

The Telegraph (UK): Barack Obama's visit causes excitement in Germany

The New York Times: Obama gets pop star reception in Berlin

ABC News: Obama Echoes Reagan in Call for Global Unity

CNN: Obama wins hearts, not minds, in Berlin

Der Spiegel: 'Will a German Speak at the Washington Monument in 2009?'

Der Speigel: Obama's Berlin Speech: People of the World, Look at Me

Shortly before the speech, after being told the Pentagon would not allow Obama to be accompanied by campaign staff and the press, the Obama campaign announced that it was scrubbing plans for Obama to visit wounded American troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The First Time Comedy, The Second Time Farce

From the Weekly Standard:

Obama Ad Accuses Romney of 'Launching a False Attack' for Quoting Obama

So, Mitt Romney has taken to derisively quoting Obama's now infamous line, "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Now Team Obama is crying foul. It's apparently a false attack to accurately quote Obama.

Where have I heard this before?

Ah, yes, in 2008: Obama campaign: Obama's remarks are offensive

Remember Obama's "typical white person" remark referring to his grandmother in his Major Speech on Race in America?

Well. Fox and Friends had a field day with it afterward. They had so much fun poking Obama with it that Chris Wallace called in to chide them during the show:

"I've been watching this show since six o'clock since I got up..and...and...it seems to me that two hours of Obama-bashing...on this 'typical white person' remark is somewhat excessive"

Team Obama was happy that Chris Wallace was not happy. They issued a statement that included this:

We appreciate Chris Wallace for doing his job as a tough but fair journalist on a network that has been deeply irresponsible over the last week in its unrelenting and sensationalistic coverage of Sen. Obama. ...

If Fox News wants to play clips of the same offensive sound bites every day from now until November, that's their right, but that type of coverage does a disservice to their viewers and to a nation that is facing serious challenges that merit thoughtful and honest reporting.

Team Obama called replaying Obama's own words over and over again sensational. Well, sensationalistic, but that's just quibbling. But notice they also called Obama's remarks themselves as "offensive sound bites". Let's all agree to agree on that point.

Where else have I heard this before?

Ah, yes, a month later in 2008: Obama campaign: Quoting Obama is divisive and distracting

Obama and McCain were at separate points asked about the role Reverend Wright should play in the campaign. Their answers...

Obama:

I think that people were legitimately offended by some of the comments that [Reverend Wright] had made in the past. The fact that he is my former pastor I think makes it a legitimate political issue. So I understand that.

McCain:

"Senator Obama himself says it's a legitimate political issue, so I would imagine that many other people will share that view"

Well, that's a no-no, quoting Obama like that. Team Obama couldn't possibly let that stand:

“John McCain has broken his word to the American people and rendered hollow his promise of a respectful campaign. With each passing day, John McCain acts more and more like someone who’s spent twenty-six years learning the divisive, distracting tactics of Washington."

Up in arms because McCain was quoting Obama. Let's again all agree to agree that a lot of what Obama says is divisive.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Michelle Obama Statement Reaches Its Expiration Date

Quoting from Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt:

And yes, [Romney] brought up the recent Obama administration changes to welfare:

Romney also attacked the president for an executive order that allows states to opt out of parts of the welfare law that was passed by former President Clinton and a Republican Congress. "He is trying to take work out of the welfare requirement," he said. "It is changing the nature of America, changing the nature of what Democrats have fought for and Republicans have fought for."

Uh oh. That's not what Michelle told us he would do as president:

Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

I know Jim has kept a list of Barack Obama statements that have reached their expiration date. I don't know if "all Michelle Obama's statements come with an expiration date", but it's obvious this one did.

Remember the good ol' days:

Apparently those days are over.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

On This Date In 2008

On this date in 2008, Obama appeared before the NAACP national convention:

The Illinois senator's speech was a historic first: an African-American poised to be the presidential nominee of a major party addressing the nation's oldest civil rights organization.
...
"If I have the privilege of serving as your next president, 100 years after the founding of the NAACP, I will stand up for you the same way that earlier generations of Americans stood up for me -- by fighting to ensure that every single one of us has the chance to make it if we try," Obama said.

Having been given that privilege, in large part because of the historic turnout and margin among black voters, Obama decided this year, in the heat of another presidential election, to . . . skip giving a speech to the NAACP due to "scheduling" issues. Call it another historic first: an African-American president refusing to address the nation's oldest civil rights organization.

Obama sent Vice President Biden instead.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Black Clergy Group Protested Same-Sex Marriage at NAACP Convention

Black Pastors Coalition: 'We're Going to Keep the Heat on Obama'

The Shrinkage Of Obama

Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon:

HONEY, I SHRUNK OBAMA
COLUMN: FOUR YEARS HAVE MINIATURIZED OBAMA’S APPEAL, PLANS, AND RHETORIC

The most telling moment of the campaign this week was not Mitt Romney or Joe Biden’s speech to the NAACP convention, but President Obama’s Tuesday appearance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Nor was it the content of Obama’s message that made his utterances noteworthy. It was the small venue: yet another community college. Now, Kirkwood Community College is no doubt a fine place, but Sports Authority Field at Mile High it is not. And one is unlikely to come across a better indicator of presidential shrinkage.

The White House took desperate pains to note that the president talked to an “overflow crowd.” What it did not mention was that an overflow crowd in a community college gym could not fill the seats in, say, the OSU stadium. There was a time when Obama regaled audiences of 30,000, 75,000, 80,000 people. Now he speaks to true believers at high schools. By the end of the campaign he may well find himself, like Spinal Tap, playing to a threadbare crowd at Themeland Amusement Park in Stockton, California (a city which, fittingly enough, is bankrupt). The sign outside: “PUPPET SHOW AND PRESIDENT OBAMA.”

The shrinkage of Obama has been a theme here in the past as well.

Obama Is Growing in Office -- Growing Smaller

Obama Is Growing In Office -- Growing Smaller

Obama Is In Over His Head

Obama #readytogo

MORE SHRINKAGE: How'd I forget this one from just two months ago?

That's So 116,985,600 Seconds Ago

2008 v 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What CNN Doesn't Tell You Tells You More Than What They Tell You

Ramesh Ponnuru at the Corner draws attention to this abysmal article at CNN on how everyone is so fed up with the fight over Obamacare that Republicans should quit trying to repeal it.

Interestingly, I was working on this post relating to the article already when I saw his post. Just what I needed . . . a hook!

At the end of his post, Ponnuru says this:

[Author Halimah] Abdullah then brings in David Bositis, who attempts to support the voter-fatigue theory by pointing to the low approval ratings for Congress — which, again, obviously do not provide any support for the theory.

I had zeroed in on Bositis because he is presented without any other qualification or description other than where he works. Over to the article:

...frustration is pretty indicative of broader voter fatigue when it comes to debate over the health care law and most things in Congress, said David Bositis, a senior research associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, pointing to Congress' abysmal approval rating.

"I don't think voters are paying attention to what Congress is doing right now," Bositis said. "They think Congress -- especially the House -- is a bunch of fools. These guys are like characters out of 'Saturday Night Live.' "

Note how the article presents Bositis and the organization that he works for -- just name the outfit without any qualifier whatsoever. The reader is left to assume it must be some neutral organization, otherwise the article would have described its affiliation or political leaning, right?

Yeah, right. Here's the About page on the Joint Center's website:

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies works to inform and illuminate the nation's major public policy debates through research, analysis, and information dissemination, with the goal of improving the socioeconomic status of African Americans and other people of color

I'm beginning to think the Joint Center and Dr. Bositis may have needed a bit of a qualifier or description. And while we're at it, here's a bit from their Energy and Environment section:

Although African Americans contribute 20 percent less than white households to the causes of global warming, research suggests they are more vulnerable to the types of extreme weather that science has shown is exacerbated by environmental changes

Oh, and wait for it...

African Americans and other people of color are also vulnerable to the risks associated with increases in energy prices, and would benefit from job growth associated with the adoption of...

I trust you already know that that sentence doesn't end with "...an all of the above approach to access the nation's many sources of cheap, abundant energy." Oh, no of course not, they're much more, well, progressive at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies...

...a clean energy plan.

Yup. That'll solve everything.

CNN presents David Bositis as if he's a neutral observer. He's not. But then again, neither is CNN.

The Media Launches An Assault And Then Orders A Retreat

Each morning I log in to Yahoo, check my email and scan the headlines, maybe check some sports scores. This morning one headline jumped out at me. Here's a screen shot of the Yahoo headlines page of local stories. I've scrolled down so that the headline in question is at the top:

House GOP launches assault on health care

Yike. "Assault on health care"? Casual readers might assume that Republicans want to close hospitals and pharmacies and put their family doctors out of business. Adding the word "law" on the end is the very least they could have done to make the headline less invidious. Of course, they also could have refrained from using the word "assault" -- which sounds so . . . uncivil of those mean Republicans.

Clicking into the article, I notice that it is a CNN piece by Tom Cohen. So it wasn't something the local tv station came up with, it was a distributed article by CNN. I went and googled at the time and noted dozens of websites with the same headline. I didn't take a screen shot at the time, however.

Just now I went back to that article, and you know what? The headline has been changed to something a little less inflammatory:

House GOP to vote again on health care repeal

Well, that's a little more neutral. Note this below the headlline:

UPDATED 11:48 AM EDT Jul 11, 2012

So it was just recently updated. The original url, however, still contains the "launches assault on health care" phrase, in case there is any doubt:

http://www.wxii12.com/news/politics/House-GOP-launches-assault-on-health-care/-/9677658/15472656/-/pffry5z/-/index.html?absolute=true

I also just now went back and took a screen shot of the google results for "House GOP launches assault on health care" which now returns 1,700 results.

So Google continues to roam the internet and pick up on the original headline, even as sites are being changed to reflect a more neutral phrasing than was originally used when the article was distributed.

Someone, and we have no idea who, apparently launched an assault, so to speak, in an attempt to convey Republican activity in voting to repeal Obamacare in terms that were derogatory, invidious and inflammatory. Someone, and we have no idea who, apparently realized that was a mistake and ordered a retreat. But on the internet, there really are no second chances.

You might want to sit down for this: The media is not unbiased. I know, shocking.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Do Or Not Do -- There Is No Try

Obama on 60 Minutes with Steve Kroft, 2008:

KROFT: Why do you think you’d be a good president?

OBAMA: You know, I’m a, I’m a practical person. One of the things I’m good at is getting people in a room with a bunch of different ideas who sometimes violently disagree with each other and finding common ground and a sense of common direction.

Obama on WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio, 2012:

I suspect that most people … would acknowledge that I’ve tried real hard, and we just haven’t gotten the kind of willingness on the part of Republicans to engage on a whole range of issues that I wish had happened.

If getting people to work together was the reason Obama claimed that he would make a good president when asked directly -- and he admits he has not been able to accomplish that -- then by his own definition Obama has not been a good president. Not good presidents do not deserve reelection.

We'll give Obama a B+ for effort. And a participation ribbon for trying. He deserves that much.


(click image to enlarge)



56% Of America Agrees With Obama

From The Hill:

Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but it’s changed for the worse, according to a sizable majority.

A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.

56% of America: "Obama has changed America for the worse"

Obama 2008: "It is time to change America!"
Obama 2011: "...and for some of our friends and neighbors, that change has been painful."


And with that, Obama's big campaign slogan is . . . Forward!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Obama's Not Being Direct With Us When He Says We're Heading In The Right Direction

Bad economic news this week on the jobs front. Only 80,000 jobs added last month. It is estimated that the economy needs 125,000 jobs each month just to keep up with population growth.

As expected, Obama and the White House tries to spin the news favorably -- an economy sucking wind being the biggest threat to his reelection. At the Tatler, Bryan Preston catches some of that spin - the White House saying you shouldn't read too much into a monthly report. What he actually catches is that this is the 30th time they've told us not to read too much into a monthly report.

Over on Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty quotes some more spin from Obama:

Pointing to the fact that 80,000 jobs were created, [Obama] declares the news is “a step in the right direction,” but he’s not done yet, much work remains to be done, and so on.

Obama thinks adding fewer jobs in a month than new people come into the workforce is the "right direction"?

Yike.

And that phrase, "right direction", I know that phrase. Here's a post from two years ago in which I noted that no matter the economic news, Obama would declare that we are heading in the "right direction". It included this chart:

I stopped keeping track of his penchant for telling our lying eyes that the economy is heading in the right direction, but let's do some catch up. Searching Google for "right direction" and "remarks by the president" on whitehouse.gov we get this:

That's 137 entries on whitehouse.gov in which Obama has used the phrase "right direction" - and that's after google eliminated entries it deemed as repetitive - it actually returned 308 results in total. Obama uses the phrase in several varieties - for example he used the phrase a number of times in the stumping he did for the 2010 elections in his car in the ditch metaphor.

Obama apparently believes the idea that if you repeat something enough, people might start to believe it. That theory failed pretty spectacularly in the shellacking the Democrats suffered in the 2010 elections, but you'd be silly to think Obama would learn from it. He's lying about the economy heading in the right direction, and let's face it, he's not that smart.