Obama vs. Reagan at Normandy

Just for fun...

President Obama's supporters claim their man is a great speechmaker. That may be a matter of opinion, but there are a lot of political experts on both sides who think a lot of the president's oratorical abilities.

Rhetorically, his speeches are very good -- well crafted with nice phrasing and organization. It may be that we've grown tired of his speechifying over the years, but his set-piece addresses lately have not achieved the level that some of his speeches from his first campaign, and first couple of years in office, reached.

Case in point; the president's address at Normandy today commemorating the 70th anniversary of the landings.

The speech reads well, but was delivered in a subdued, almost listless manner. C-Span coverage: (speech begins at 51 minutes into the video):

ABC News with some exerpts:

“These men waged war so that we might know peace. They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them,” President Obama said to sustained applause at the Normandy American Cemetery.

“It was here, on these shores, that the tide was turned in that common struggle for freedom,” Obama said. “What more powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom than the sight of wave after wave of young men boarding those boats to liberate people they’d never met?”

With World War II veterans seated behind him, the president described the tense scenes of the day when over 150,000 allied troops invaded the shores of Normandy 70 years ago.

“If prayer were made of sound, the skies over England that night would have deafened the world,” the president said. “Captains paced their decks. Pilots tapped their gauges. Commanders pored over maps, fully aware that for all the months of meticulous planning, everything could go wrong: the winds, the tides, the element of surprise – and above all, the audacious bet that what waited on the other side of the Channel would compel men not to shrink away, but to charge ahead.”

“Fresh-faced GIs rubbed trinkets, kissed pictures of sweethearts, checked and re-checked their equipment. ‘God,’ asked one, ‘Give me guts.’ And in the pre-dawn hours, planes rumbled down runways; gliders and paratroopers slipped through the sky; giant screws began to turn on an armada that looked like more ships than sea. And more than 150,000 souls set off towards this tiny sliver of sand upon which hung more than the fate of a war, but the course of human history,” he said.

Obama supporters are so enamored of their hero's speaking ability, they proudly compare him to Ronald Reagan.

Really? Let's take a look at that comparison on the next page.