THE PREZ TALK PRETTY ONE DAY: Is Barack Obama Too Smart To Give Great Speeches?


YouTube: White House

Barack Obama has a speaking problem.For all his rhetorical brilliance during the race speech, the Gabby Giffords memorial, even the Correspondents’ dinner, he struggles during more off-the-cuff affairs.

Meghan Daum writes in the Los Angeles Times: “As polished as he often is before large crowds (where the adjective ‘soaring’ is often applied to his speeches), his impromptu speaking frequently calls to mind a doctoral candidate delivering a wobbly dissertation defence.”

She thinks she knows why: Obama is too smart; he suffers from the “intellectual stammer.”

The argument, essentially, is that the President’s mind is moving too fast for his mouth.

Daum points out that ironically, the “godfather” of the stammer is none other than conservative scion William F. Buckley. He rambled through talks, weaving in and out of points, wandering through the deepest parts of the dictionary, while struggling to articulate his complex points.

But back to the President.

Yes, haters gonna hate: No matter how well Obama speaks, some people will dislike his diction, complain about his cadence, and discredit his delivery. That’s just a fact of life, or at least the life of the President of America.

At the same time, intellectual stammer or not, sometimes it would be nice to see him just spit out what he is trying to say. His inability to do so hurt him in the debates and it is hurting him now.

(Of course, the reputation he has as a brilliant speaker makes it hard for him to reach the standard every time.)

Obama’s battle with words will continue. As Daum concludes, “The right word is usually worth waiting for.”