Obama's safety net: the TelePrompter

United States
March 6, 2009 3:28am CST
*****Is this not further proof that we do not know the real Obama. What we see is not what we get! We see an actor who is just reading his lines. My problem is who is writing the script for this puppet? What will be revealed in the final act??***** President Barack Obama doesn’t go anywhere without his TelePrompter. The textbook-sized panes of glass holding the president’s prepared remarks follow him wherever he speaks. He uses them to death,” a television crewmember who also covered the White House under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush said of the teleprompter. “The problem is, he never looks at you. He’s looking left, right, left, right — not at the camera. It’s almost like he’s not making eye contact with the American people Resting on top of a tall, narrow pole, they flank his podium during speeches in the White House’s stately parlors. They stood next to him on the floor of a manufacturing plant in Indiana as he pitched his economic stimulus plan. They traveled to the Department of Transportation this week and were in the Capitol Rotunda last month when he paid tribute to Abraham Lincoln in six-minute prepared remarks. Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual — not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events, large and small. After the teleprompter malfunctioned a few times last summer and Obama delivered some less-than-soaring speeches, reports surfaced that he was training to wean himself off of the device while on vacation in Hawaii. But no such luck.
6 people like this
13 responses
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
6 Mar 09
Mmmmm...hate to say this but I don't think there's any real issue here. TelePrompter's in one way or another have been around probably since TV began...newscasters have always used them, so have talk show hosts, many situation comedies on TV, perhaps even soap operas. In the old days before "electronic" TelePrompters you had people who held up large poster board sized cards with the "lines" a person had to say written on them...in other words EVERYONE in the "biz" has used them. Think back...when you were in school and you had to give a speech in front of a fairly large audience...your palms may have been sweaty, your knees knocking and feeling like you were going to faint at any moment...wouldn't YOU have loved a TelePrompter? I would actually find it MORE annoying if a politician didn't use the TelePrompter but read from his notes...and I've seen this as the politician NEVER looks at his audience at all but is instead reading his "script" from the pages in front of him. As for who is writing Obama scripts..hey give the guy credit...he's an intelligent person capable of writing his own scripts...if he needs help with TelePrompters rather than memorizing everything why not? Would YOU want to have to memorize everything? I sure wouldn't
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 09
0bama does NOT write his own speeches, he has somebody else craft those pretty words. It's true, if you don't beleive me you can look it up. As far as everyone in the "biz", 0bama is not a Hollywood actor, he is the elected leader of the free world, he is supposed to work FOR the American people, so I don't think it's asking too much for him to speak form his heart rather than words written by someone else off a screen, and I don't think it's too much to ask that he look the American people (his employer) in the eyes. When I was in school and had to give a speech, only key points were on my note cards, to remind me not to miss anything, the entire speech was not written for me to read, I did not read the speech, I gave the speech and looked at the people I was speaking to while I did it. And the speech was completely my own words, it wasn't written for me. If I could accomplish that as a school child, surely our President should be capable of the same, right?
• United States
6 Mar 09
Sorry I forgot to give the link to my information: http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090305/pl_politico/19663
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 09
There is a really funny video on YouTube called "A message from 0bama's teleprompter" or something. It's about 4 and a half minutes long but it's been a while since I laughed that hard. I have noticed that when he gives speaches, he's always looking at the prompter and not in the camera. Most people when speaking will read a head a bit, then look at the camera, then divert the eyes back to the script, read more and then speak. He tends to avoid eye contact with the cameras when he's talking due to reading the script. Makes him seem shifty to me.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Mar 09
Thanks for the tip I checked and found a couple of really funny one. I put them in a new discussion. Thanks again.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (51239)
• United States
8 Mar 09
I noticed in one speech his eyes kept going back and forth. I don't watch many of his speeches at all. But I kept thinking his advisors really should have trained him how to do a speech without appearing to be using a teleprompter. It kind of looked like he was afraid to avert his eyes for long, lest he lose his place.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 09
Good point, thanks
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
9 Mar 09
Thanks for the best response.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
8 Mar 09
Something is wrong here. I know about actors using cue cards, and also that presidents and prime ministers need to say their words right, so they need teleprompters, but not to this extent. Does Obama have problems with his memory? With the way that Bush spoke, people could tell that sometimes he did not use a teleprompter. In fact, from what I read, people made fun of his way of speaking. So is Obama afraid that he might come up with some Kenyan saying that no one can understand and why is he not making eye contact with the American People? Maybe he should get someone from the Dale Carnegie Course in Public Speaking to get him to practice saying a few words of his own, and not be afraid of not sounding like a demigod.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
6 Mar 09
well now I know I thought he had memorized al of the speches And always prez have had someone other than them selves write the peaches. and I havent really watch him enough to see where he looks but he must be reading what he is saying! grrrrrrrrr
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
6 Mar 09
Oh come on. I've been around since 1955 and *every* President since before I was born has used both speech writers and cue cards of some kind. The person writing the script for him worked with him in advance to assist in communicating his ideas...no theirs...just as every speech writer before him has. There's nothing untoward about it. You mentioned three different venues where he used the TelePrompter...a manufacturing plant in Indiana, the DOT and a tribute to Lincoln in the Capitol Rotunda where he spoke for 6 minutes. All three speeches addressed specific issues different from the others, which I'm sure also included specific details, so was he supposed to have them all memorized in advance? Should a President be spending his time memorizing speeches? I don't think so. By the way, Ron Reagan *was* an actor and he used cue cards, too.
• United States
6 Mar 09
Thank you my thoughts exactly... the author also stated he goes to extremes as if the man can not have a conversation without one. But yet she insist that I missed her point. The point is that not only is this person being petty but also unrealistic in her statements. No the president whether he be dem or republic or from any other party should be taking the time to memorize speeches word for word so they do not accidently say something that later they will be critisized for.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
6 Mar 09
I've also seen several interviews the President has given and there were no TelePrompters there either so he obviously can speak for himself.
• United States
6 Mar 09
I am not surprised to see people show up here defending this, he could be eating live kittens and his fans would find a way to justify it. He is all somebody else's design, even those pretty words his fans love so much aren't his own that he is reading. He is incapable of functioning without his writers and his teleprompter because he and his comrades do not want us to see the real man behind the curtain.
• United States
6 Mar 09
MYKLJ999_VERSION_2 Perhaps the point I was trying to make was not that he uses a teleprompter it is that he cannot even say two words without it. Surely he is confident enough to show the world he can think on his own without having to use a script. Seemingly when he was without one for a few minutes his oratory skills were severely lacking.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 09
AngryKitty as usual you are right on the ball. As my granny used to say "they would eat sh1t covered in sugar" if Obama offered it to them.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
6 Mar 09
No, I'm fairly positive that I wouldn't find a way to justify eating live kittens. However, fair is fair and if Obama is someone else's design because he uses speech writers than so were both Bushes, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Kennedy, FDR...and many other presidents because they all used speech writers.
1 person likes this
@ulalume (714)
• United States
6 Mar 09
The teleprompter is the exact same thing as the President taking a piece of paper with his speech written out to the pulpit. I don't see what the big deal is. Honestly, if I was giving this many speeches; I would have one following me too. What he says it was he is to be held accountable of. People are just ridiculous and looking for anything and everything to bash Obama. I don't even support him but its blatant that the USA is just stupid as far as news bits like this are concerned.
• United States
6 Mar 09
You wanna know what's stupid? People who rationalize and attempt to justify each and every action taken by 0bama, who dismiss every single criticism of him as "hateful", "racist" or "bashing". Most people seem to forget in the USA, at least for now, we are free to question our leaders and it is the duty of everyone to do so, to not just go along with things that may destroy us because someone claims it is OK. What is stupid is abandoning critical thinking and letting others dictate what is OK.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 09
ulalume as you are only 18 years old and say that the USA is stupid is ridiculous. How can you say a whole country is stupid. Typical teenager remarks.
2 people like this
@ulalume (714)
• United States
7 Mar 09
-whiteheather And you are apparently a typical adult American who 1. can not read what I actually wrote and 2. assume I am a typical American only on the basis of my age. I said the USA is stupid in regards to its MEDIA. If this is not obvious from stupid scandals popping up, and pointless news bits every day then I do not know what is. Plus, now is the time when the citizens of this country are basically "blood-hungry" to see Obama foiled. I am perfectly fine with people speaking their mind and looking into things, but the honest truth is I see nothing wrong with him using a teleprompter. Seriously, there is no difference between that and any prior president using a piece of paper in front of them. If you are concerned about the words "really" being Obamas, maybe you should consider that most Presidents don't even write their own speeches in the first place. They have a board of people doing that.
@mummymo (23707)
6 Mar 09
I can see your point but heck I think your last president might not have made as many goof ups if he had had a tele prompter - then again he probably would have! lol Seriously though I don't particularly see a problem with him using a tele prompter , I don't even see a problem if he doesn't write his own speeches , after all most politicians have spin doctors, speech writers, media advisors et al. The thing about making eye contact with the American Public well he wouldn't really be making eye contact - you would just see his eyes - it would be on a television screen after all! Not trying to be argumentative honey honestly just giving my opinion and I cannot help but think there must be more to the man than a teleprompter to have been voted into the most powerful position in the world and creates such a frenzy internationally! xxxx
@mummymo (23707)
6 Mar 09
I'm not an expert honey I just base my opinion on what I know and I know different people are good at some things and nervous when doing it differently! Like my Niall (15)when he is in conversation he struggles to get his words out and is very slow and hesitant , he does a lot of presentations , including in front of all head teachers in Scotland and for an organisation for Keep Scotland Beautiful to do with his Eco Club ( Keep Scotland Beautiful actually paid him for the presentations £10 each presentation, each lasted only 10- 15 mins. When he does these presentations along with his power point presentation he talks wonderfully, with passion, intelligence and humour - he is like a different boy. Lets be honest too do teleprompters really matter that much? Shouldn't he be judged on the way he runs the country? Has he had long enough to be judged on that yet? xxxx
@grammasnook (1877)
• United States
6 Mar 09
Whiteheather, You sound very upset and suprised at the same time. Of course the president has someone write his speeches with him. All eyes on him whether it be Obama Bush or whoever. I for myself can not see myself being able to remember such things with a million things sitting in the back of my mind of things that need to get done. "Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual — not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events" I would also like to remind you that no other president since the telepromper has been invented has had to deal with such great disasters as he has either. He will be in office 2 months and you expect him to remember everything that is handed to him daily along with everything that he is dealing with from the past that was left in the closet. I am sure we know a third of what he deals with if that. I am not just defending Obama here I would defend any president that did this in this day and time. Just my input
• United States
6 Mar 09
Ha ha If you think I sound upset on this discussion you would be very surprised if I was really upset. You seemed to have missed the point it is not that he and other presidents have used/use a teleprompter but to the extent that he cannot say one sentence without one. He goes to extremes.
2 people like this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
6 Mar 09
Actally, I saw his welcoming speech before the group of congressional leaders who were at this past Wednesday night get-together at the White House and I don't recall seeing a TelePrompter there. He said a whole bunch of sentences then, too.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27279)
• United States
6 Mar 09
"What will be revealed in the final act" indeed...is he the anti-Christ after all? Or perhaps the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler...or even Saddam Hussein? (He DOES share a name with the latter, after all!) You'll have to forgive me for being so thrilled at having a President I can watch speak without feeling I have to help him out by pulling the words out of his mouth and then yelling, "He said WHAT?" after they finally came out...lol! Remember "Food on our families" and "doctors...practice their looove"? Annie
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
6 Mar 09
I used to cringe in anticipation of the word "nuclear".
@Latrivia (2889)
• United States
6 Mar 09
Presidents do not write their own speeches. If they do have a hand in writing it, it is not without help from staff. This isn't a recent development, as presidents have been doing this for over 100 years. I thought all people knew this. As per usual, people are trying to draw bogus conclusion from recent developments. If Obama is a bad orator, and it seems that he is, why is it so bad for him to use something to help him along?