Our Make No Mistake About It/Let Me Be Perfectly Clear President
by Victor Davis Hanson:
If only Barack Obama had something to say…
After all, we have never had a president who descended the steps of Air Force One with such catlike agility, hands almost as paws lightly bouncing in synchronization with each elfish footstep. Never has a commander in chief so casually, so confidently approached the podium as if he were popping open his own laptop, his jaw almost in Mussolini style thrust out, with eyes fixed three feet above the heads of the audience — all with just the right mixture of self-assurance and canned humility. No wonder that after all that we expect a “four score and seven years ago” that will match the perfect choreography.
Never has a president so mastered the teleprompter — no easy task in itself — with just the right pauses, followed with a timely ratcheting up of passion, punctuated with a half-smile, a grimace, a laugh. Never has a president mastered both the art of empty bluster and the art of bowing. Never has a president so mastered the patois and cadences of an intended audience: with corporate CEOs, he sounds like a Ivy League Citibank exec; with foreign-policy types, he can out-authenticate the multicultural experts with accentuation like “the Taleeeban” and “Pakeeestan.” Among African-Americans, he drops his g’s, affects the slight drawl of the South, inserts an old-time Southern colloquialism, and follows the mannerisms of a Rev. Wright thundering at Trinity Church. Among Latinos, the “r” is rolled, and accent marks fall in the proper places, better than any third-generation Latino evening-television newsreader.
In short, Obama is the most impressive sophist of his age.
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