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Thursday, March 05, 2009

San Diego political commentary: Andy Martin ridicules “discovers” that Barack Obama is “tethered to a teleprompter”

(San Diego, CA) Now that Bill Kurtis is no longer “discovering the Internet” in his zany TV commercials, has “discovered” that Barack Obama is tethered to a teleprompter. “What took them so long,” asks Andy Martin, who wrote about the same topic in January, 2008. “Brave man, that Obama,” says Martin. “He’s afraid of his own words. Maybe he should write the Russians another letter and offer to give up his teleprompter if the Iranians give up nukes?” [Andy is currently in San Diego]

It only took fourteen (14) months to figure out what had in 2008:

What took them so long?


Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”




(CHICAGO)(January 5, 2008) Don't you just love the mainstream media? Or should I call them the "herd" media. One reporter suggests Senator Barack Obama is the "new Martin Luther King," and the whole herd rushes in the same direction. Another journo calls him a "new Robert Kennedy," and they rush off in that direction. As usual, offers a more nuanced analysis.

Let me start by stating the obvious: Obama gives a good speech. On Iowa caucus night, however, I gave my vote for "most effective speech" to Senator John Edwards, not Obama and certainly not Senator Hillary Clinton. I usually refer to Clinton as "wooden." I'm being nice.

Why do I disagree with the herd about Obama? First, they are listening, but not seeing, what is happening. Second, Obama has yet to demonstrate the greatness of a truly powerful speaker. Finally, his "speech" is getting stale.

First, I am not a big television watcher. But on election nights I have to watch, to write, and so I watched. When Obama went on the stage to speak I was looking for something, but couldn't see it: a teleprompter. It wasn't clear whether there was prompter there. Only in watching reruns the next day was the presence of the prompter clear.

The teleprompter was an Andy Martin "gotcha" item. Whether I am on the battlefield or sitting on a couch, or even a bar, I look for the "gotcha" indication that betrays the true state of mind of the moment.

The prompter tells me a lot about Obama (sort of like a doctor diagnosing the patient, long-distance in this case). First, Obama was probably the last to speak Thursday night because he had people writing his speech. Second, and more importantly, he did not write his speech. Finally, someone wrote his words for him.

The teleprompter incident also explains for me a disconnect that some in the media have legitimately observed: that Obama delivers "great" speeches but does poorly in debates. Why? Because when he doesn't have people to write for him in a debate, his own words end up faltering. And so, Obama can deliver a speech, but he can’t compose one on the fly. His words are someone else's.

Obama was not speaking from the heart in Iowa; he was speaking off a teleprompter.

I want to make clear that there is nothing wrong with using a teleprompter for long, complex speeches. But when you are supposed to be speaking "from the heart," and giving "thanks," you need to do it spontaneously and really speak from the heart. Obama can’t do that.

Now, second, to Martin Luther King. King did write his own material. There is no evidence that King had a teleprompter, or that he had a flock of hidden speechwriters composing his speeches for him. King was the real thing. King's words have endured because they were so powerful; they were so powerful because he wrote them and because he delivered them spontaneously.

Third, I was struck on Thursday night by the staleness of Obama's speech. Maybe he thinks people in Iowa (or New Hampshire) are rubes and don't realize or remember, but they heard essentially the same speech four years ago in Obama's initial foray on national television at the Democratic National Convention. Same "cadences," too. The "blue state/red state/United states" line is getting old, and stale. I "hope" he comes up with something newer. But listening to Barry O I was struck how he has become a Johnny One-Note, giving the same speech over and over again. A stale speech is not going to get him into the White House. Just ask Hillary Clinton.

By the way, and parenthetically, now you know why Obama was never a courtroom man when he "practiced" law in Chicago. He's not really good on his feet. He could not handle himself in a trial court, only in an appellate tribunal—where arguments are scripted.

The bottom line: Obama is scripted, not spontaneous; he is an insecure speaker, not a confident one. His words are not his own. And these weaknesses are evident when he is forced to participate in the debate format. He cannot hold his own with truly confident candidates who deliver their own words, not someone else's. Like so much about Obama that we don't know, he is really a paper mache caricature, a Potemkin candidate, a creation of the people behind the screen who manipulate and control his public persona.

Obama may have fooled Iowans, and he may fool Granite Staters (though as an honorable Granite Stater, I doubt it; they didn’t coin the "Yankee" phrase "agin'er" in New Hampshire for nothing). But don’t let Obama fool you.

Barry, we hardly knew ye.

Or as Senator Lloyd Bentsen might have said if he were still alive, "Barack, I knew Martin Luther King. And you're no Martin Luther King."

[P. S. I write my own material.]

[Updated 2009]
Readers of Obama: The Man Behind The Mask, say the book is still the only gold standard and practical handbook on Barack Obama's unfitness for the presidency. Buy it.
Book orders: or Immediate shipment from or signed copies (delayed for signing) from the publisher are available.
URGENT APPEAL: The Committee of One Million to Defeat Barack Obama is raising money to oppose President Barack Obama.
Please give generously. Our ability to fight and defeat Barack Obama is directly dependent on the generosity of every American.
“The Committee of One Million to Defeat Barack Obama has no bundlers, no fat cats and no illegal contributions. Obama is opposed to everything America stands for," says Executive Director Andy Martin. "But while Obama has raised an almost billion dollar slush fund, his opponents have not been able to raise sufficient resources. Americans can either contribute now, or pay later. If we do not succeed, Obama will."
Andy Martin is a legendary Chicago muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of broadcasting experience in radio and television and is the dean of Illinois media and communications. He is currently promoting his best-selling book, Obama: The Man Behind The Mask. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of

Martin comments on regional, national and world events with over four decades of experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York. He is an announced candidate for Barack Obama’s former U. S. Senate seat.

His columns are also posted at;

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