Can we say that a consensus has been reached that Barack Obama’s Oval Office speech was a disappointment? If Chris Matthews is busy blaming the teleprompter for an Obama speech, then clearly the President flopped in a big way. In this clip from last night’s Hardball, Chris Matthews can’t quite blame Obama for the bad performance, so he blames TOTUS. Remember when the Left bristled at conservative teasing at the omnipresent device, which once accompanied Obama to the center of a rodeo ring during the campaign? Suddenly it’s cool to blame TOTUS for the President’s flaws, or rather it’s necessary:

Actually, this makes no sense at all. Yes, Obama relies on the ‘prompter far too much and in venues where he should be speaking from notes or off the cuff, but what modern President has winged an Oval Office speech? There is no dais, no podium, and no live audience present in the Oval Office, which is why Presidents look into the camera through their addresses — and why the teleprompter is standard equipment. It doesn’t get between Obama and his audience any more or less than it did with Obama’s predecessors, who didn’t read speeches from handwritten notes or cue cards that would force them to avert their gaze and look, well, shifty. That’s the beauty of a teleprompter, and why it’s so popular even with speakers not named Barack Obama.

No, the problem in this speech wasn’t the equipment. It was the speech itself and the man who delivered it. Matthews apparently can’t bring himself to admit that Obama is not the greatest orator since Cicero but is rather ordinary and pedestrian when asked to give anything more than a campaign speech.