And if you don’t like the way he talks, it’s because you’re dumb. There — I’ve just given you a shorter Meghan Daum.
As polished as he often is before large crowds (where the adjective “soaring” is often applied to his speeches), his impromptu speaking frequently calls to mind a doctoral candidate delivering a wobbly dissertation defense.
But consider this: It’s not that Obama can’t speak clearly. It’s that he employs the intellectual stammer. Not to be confused with a stutter, which the president decidedly does not have, the intellectual stammer signals a brain that is moving so fast that the mouth can’t keep up. The stammer is commonly found among university professors, characters in Woody Allen movies and public thinkers of the sort that might appear on C-SPAN but not CNN. If you’re a member or a fan of that subset, chances are the president’s stammer doesn’t bother you; in fact, you might even love him for it (he sounds just like your grad school roommate, especially when he drank too much Scotch whisky and attempted to expound on the Hegelian dialectic!).
If you’re not, chances are you find yourself yelling, “Get to the point already!” at the television screen every time Obama’s search for the right word seems to last longer than the search for Osama bin Laden. And thanks to its echoes of the college lecture hall, you may think it comes across as ever so slightly (or more than slightly) left wing.
So it’s not his actual policies that are left wing; once again, it’s everyone else’s fault. And our president is a Woody Allen character? The leader of the free world is an incompetent neurotic who talks too much? I think Meghan Daum has accidentally found a truth in that one.
But riddle me this, Meghan Daum. If Obama is so brilliant, why does he pronounce the “p” in corpsman? Why does he give a tectonic shift a distinctly Germanic twist? What was up with that whole “57 states” thing? Why, even in his prepared remarks, does your boyfriend make hash out of longstanding US policy on the MidEast? Why did that WH meeting between Obama and Netanyahu come off like the Israeli PM was schooling President Obama, who was physically shrinking during the exchange? Why does everything Obama touches turn to crap? And why does he only sound like he knows what he’s talking about when he’s reading words off a screen, that were written by others?
Oh, I know — he’s too smart for his own mouth. Right.