When Chris Matthews complains that Barack Obama’s public events are too scripted and sycophantish, that’s either one of the signs of the Apocalypse or a signal that even the most leg-tingling supporter can overdose on Hopeandchange. Radio Vice Online has this remarkable clip in which Matthews lambastes Obama for being out of touch with the common man, and once again calls for the White House to trash TOTUS and start talking plainly:
Matthews uses an interesting baseball analogy, one worth exploring a little further. The worst thing people can do, Matthews says, is toss softballs and change-ups, especially such obvious softballs and change-ups. Better to throw a high fastball down the middle at let the man swing away. But that presumes that the batter at the plate can actually hit hardballs. Do we have any evidence of that? Did the media bother to toss any hardballs at him in the 2007-8 campaign? With the exception of the Chicago media at a Texas press conference … no. After Lynn Sweet asked a question about the incident in Cambridge and got an answer that the police “acted stupidly” — the immediate response to a question that could hardly be called a fastball — the White House stopped holding press conferences altogether. For the most part, the media has wanted to talk about Obama’s “enchantment,” Matthews included, at least until now.
The teleprompter isn’t the problem. His answer at the town hall yesterday didn’t come from the teleprompter; it was extemporaneous. The problem is that until now, the attention has all been on Barack Obama and about Barack Obama. The woman who challenged him yesterday about her exhaustion wanted to talk about everyone else. Obama simply doesn’t connect with people, and that was made painfully clear yesterday. Don’t blame TOTUS; blame POTUS, and the media that gave him a free ride for almost three years.