Remember that little anecdote about Rick Santorum’s response to a woman who fainted in the middle of one of his speeches? Quin Hillyer related the tale:
Just as candidate Rick Santorum was obviously building up to a compelling “grand finale” today in a speech at the Pavilion of the Battleship USS Alabama in Mobile this morning, there was a commotion in front of him and to his left. A middle-aged black woman had fainted dead-out, flat onto the concrete floor (it was a bit muggy; raining outside). A lot of candidates would have looked out, stopped talking, asked people to go see if she were okay, and then perhaps continued speaking once it was clear that responsible people were seeing to her well-being.
Not Santorum. He stopped his remarks dead in his tracks, just before reaching a planned crescendo:
“Oh — well everybody, thank you and God Bless,” he quickly mumbled, already leaving the podium. And then he leapt down the stairs and rushed to the lady’s aid, just about the fifth person to reach her side.
(The lady was soon back on her feet and emergency medical people were making sure she was okay. Thank goodness, it seemed as if she were indeed okay. Santorum never re-took the podium, instead just wading into the crowd to meet people and shake hands.)
Compare that with this:
President Barack Obama has taken to advising a home remedy for audience members who faint during his events: Eat something.
Mr. Obama first doled out the “little tip,” as he calls it, to a woman at his speech in North Carolina last week. “Folks do this all the time in my meetings,” he quipped after she passed out. “You’ve always got to eat before you stand for a long time.”
And so on Thursday, when an audience member in Maryland fainted, the medic in chief couldn’t help himself.
“All right, remember next time if you’re standing for a long time, you gotta eat,” he told the person. The audience laughed, apparently not taking him seriously enough. “No, no, it’s true,” the president said. “You gotta get something to eat. You gotta get some juice. I’m just saying – it’s true.”
If they really don’t want to faint, audience members should probably be sure to eat their peas!
Obama is not trying to be insensitive; he’s trying to be helpful — and he has a point. If you plan to attend an Obama speech anytime soon, you should probably pack a snack. Not only will you have to wait in a security line, but you can also count on the president to be late and long-winded.
Still, validity of the advice aside, does Obama really think his audience members don’t already know to eat — or, for that matter, to not to lock their knees when standing for long periods of time?
Obama’s response to the rampant fainting spells at his speeches seems to me to be reflective of him generally. You know nothing and he knows best, so listen to him, people! Also — don’t interrupt his speeches by fainting!