Obama A Ventriloquist Dummy?
For years, some people have ridiculed Barack Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter. The Presidential teleprompter even has its own blog. Critics have alluded that perhaps the world’s greatest orator is not adept on his feet.
Certainly, recent evidence of this idea can be found in his reluctance to hold press conferences or interviews (except, recently, in such high-brow outfits as People magazine and Entertainment Tonight).
Certainly, when he is off on his own we see his true thoughts (people are "lazy," small town people are "bitter clingers," "you didn’t built that") and his true agenda ("spread the wealth," "shared prosperity," "flexibility" when he does not have to think about reelection).
But there may be more to the reliance on the "telly" than is usually assumed. What if , literally, Barack Obama does not even really know what is in the speeches when he gives them?
I was reminded recently of a series of emails that were uncovered that dealt with the efforts by the White House to get the drug industry to promote Obama-Care. The Democrats ended up working closely with the drug companies to get them to spend money and devote their other resources behind the push to pass ObamaCare. The Democrats cut deals with the industry. But at one point
in the negotiations Barack Obama delivered one of his demagogic speeches and attacked the drug industry.
Tim Carney wrote in the Washington Examiner: "I understand that some will try to delay action until the special interests can kill it," President Obama intoned in a July 21, 2009, Rose Garden speech. Later Obama got a bit more specific about these bad guys: "They would maintain a system that works for the insurance and the drug companies, while becoming increasingly unaffordable for families and for businesses."
But at the time, the drug industry was on board with Obama’s health-care "reform." Industry lobbyists had cut a deal with the White House, some new details of which my colleague Phil Klein reports today, and had pledged millions to support not only the bill, but lawmakers who voted for it.
So, when Obama fired off a comment to salvo at the drug industry, drug lobbyists were pissed. "We’re trying to kill it?" Republican Pfizer lobbyist Anthony Principi asked in an email to his industry colleagues. "I guess we didn’t give enough in contributions and media ads supporting hcr [health-care reform]."
Bryant Hall, the senior lobbyist at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry’s main lobby, wrote back to assure the group of drugmaker lobbyists that Obama didn’t mean it.
"Billy and I were at WH today," Hall wrote, referring to PhRMA President Billy Tauzin. "We raised this issue with Jim Messina. Jim said that he went into the Oval [Office] and talked to the President …. ‘Why was this in the speech [sic]?’ Obama said ‘I was wondering the same.’ Attributed to young speechwriter."
So not only was Barack Obama out of the loop and lost at sea regarding the most significant legislation passed during his first term, he did not even bother to review what he was about to say when he gave his speech.
No proofreading? No practice? No knowledge of what was going on? No concern other than to be a mouthpiece for other peoples’ plans and words? In other words, a ventriloquist dummy.
Sounds about right for the President.