Did the Teleprompter go on the fritz or something?
Jim Hoft grabbed this video of President Obama attacking Donald Trump in a speech yesterday in Indiana and the president has a bit of a stammering fit:
Obama was specifically attacking the idea that Donald Trump would reverse course on much of the president’s agenda if he wins the White House in November. Hoft was good enough to provide a pretty accurate transcript of this moment:
“If we turn against each other based on division of race or religion. If-if-if-if-if-if-if-if-if-if-if we fall for, you know, a bunch of okie-doke, just because, you know it-it-it. You know, it-it-it-it-it-it sounds funny or the tweets are provocative.”
This isn’t the first time Obama’s vocal tic has been brought to the spotlight. Many observers have pointed out that without prepared remarks displayed in front of him, the president often stammers and lets loose a string of “uh….”s as he appears to be searching for just the right brilliant combination of words to make his enlightened point about something.
Thankfully, the president has many apologists who run to his defense at a moment’s notice. in 2011 the LA Times published an op-ed explaining the president’s vocal stylings when he’s in freestyle mode. According to Meghan Daum, Obama’s stammer is a manifestation of his superior intellect. I’m not kidding:
It’s not that Obama can’t speak clearly. It’s that he employs the intellectual stammer. Not to be confused with a stutter, which the president decidedly does not have, the intellectual stammer signals a brain that is moving so fast that the mouth can’t keep up. The stammer is commonly found among university professors, characters in Woody Allen movies and public thinkers of the sort that might appear on C-SPAN but not CNN. If you’re a member or a fan of that subset, chances are the president’s stammer doesn’t bother you; in fact, you might even love him for it (he sounds just like your grad school roommate, especially when he drank too much Scotch and attempted to expound on the Hegelian dialectic!).
To be fair, none other than intellectual giant William F. Buckley often employed this same characteristic when in the midst of forming a question for one of his guests on Firing Line. However, I don’t remember anyone jumping to his defense to explain that Buckley’s stammer was an indication of his extraordinary intellect. I remember Saturday Night Live brilliantly mocking him for it:
It’s useless to try to explain Obama’s stutter as an example of the president’s alleged intellect or lack there of. Isn’t it more instructive to point to the subject that reduces this eloquent speechifier to a stammering joke?
The mere thought of Trump reversing following him into the White House and reversing his agenda is the trigger for this mental melt-down. What does this tell us?
Is the president starting to realize that Hillary Clinton may very well lose this November? Is he starting to face the reality that his radical agenda, achieved in main part through extra-constitutional executive orders, could very well be reversed in the first several days of a new administration?
Or is it a basic, visceral reaction to the mere thought that he, a brilliant, gifted and transcendent figure in American history, could very well be replaced by a political novice so beneath him that he couldn’t even bring himself to mention his name?
“You know he seems to do a good job mentioning his own name,” Mr. Obama said to chuckles in the Elkhart, Indiana audience. “So, I figure, you know, I’ll let him do his advertising for him.”
Whatever the reason, it appears the presumptive nominee of the GOP is getting under Obama’s very thin skin. And isn’t it fun to watch?