Roger L. Simon

On the Eve of the SOTU: Obama the Speechmaker vs. Jobs the CEO

Conventional wisdom – at least for a while – was that Barack Obama was a great public speaker.

Not to me. He always seemed a boring, cliché-ridden bloviator from my perspective, but, of course, like almost everyone else, I’m biased. Still – how about a pop quiz? Can anyone think of anything memorable Obama said in one of his speeches other than hope, change, etc.? Not easy, is it? No Churchillian turns of phrase spring to mind. Well, there is this: “There is no red state America; there is no blue state of America; there is the United States of America.” Ringing words that the President followed about as closely as I followed the Scarsdale Diet for the three days I was on it.

So Ann Althouse asks a good (loaded) question: What are we more excited about – tonight’s State of the Union address or this morning’s Apple Tablet debut? As an Apple “fanboy,” I’m much more curious about the tablet, which now seems may have some kind of “proximity sensor” touch screen. I have very little curiosity – although I will be listening tonight, out of professional obligation more than anything else – about what Barack Obama has to say before Congress. Unlike Steve Jobs, the President almost never delivers on what he says. It’s all “Words! Words! Words!” that we are “sick of,” as Lerner & Lowe would have it. When you never deliver on your speeches, they begin to fall of deaf ears. Gimme Jobs over Obama any time.

Maybe I’ll watch the SOTU on my MacBook Pro. That way I can multi-task.