Did anyone see our president yesterday? Obama was giving a speech when, apparently, he and the teleprompter got into a visual spat. He spent several awkward seconds motioning with his hands and mumbling inaudible grunts to the operator to speed up, wait, slow down on the lines.

I can understand these things happen. Heck, just look at President Bush and his many challenges from the podium. But Obama’s gaffe is a telling harbinger of things to come if his reliance on teleprompters continues to grow.

The first problem is out of simple convenience. You can’t give a major parks speech in front of Mount Rushmore with a high-tech studio surrounding you. I’m sorry, all the ambiance and genuineness of the moment is lost. Some venues for major speeches just don’t warrant, nor can they accommodate, teleprompting. God forbid a major hurricane strike the Gulf Coast and, before Obama can travel to explore the region, White House Advance needs to ship the teleprompt crew. C’mon …

The second potential problem rests with the authenticity (or loss thereof) that has come to embody this president. I fear that every day he grows more comfortable in front of the electronic cue cards, he loses a morsel of what makes him appear passionate on behalf of Americans. Part of being president means showing a human side — one that makes mistakes on occasion, gets choked up and shows some emotion; not someone who’s yelling at his aides with his eyes because he’s ready to move on to his next lines.

Something to think about.



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