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March 27, 2009

The Presidentís Puppeteers

Joe Charlebois

The puppeteers are running the White House. The president isn't intelligent enough to make decisions on his own. He fumbles his words and is incoherent. He is prone to gaffes.


President Bush? No, it is President Barack Obama. Our "King" of a resurrected Camelot is showing us more everyday that unlike his predecessor, he is the true puppet.


Mr. Obama, who has been "handled" as no other president before him, is also the one in most need of "handling." He has shown ability to deliver speeches as few before him; but he relies on a Teleprompter even for simple opening remarks prior to press conferences.


At this past Tuesday's press conference, Mr. Obama – aware of the criticism regarding the Teleprompter – tried to hide the fact that he can't speak without it. This "Linus-in-Chief" can't go anywhere without this security blanket. Realizing growing questioning regarding this, the president dumped the Teleprompters from plain view and instead employed a large flat screen television at the back of the press corps, all to hide his insecurity from the American public.


When Mr. Obama is not on "prompter," we see the results as well. Recently on Jay Leno's Tonight Show, Mr. Obama put down his own performance at the White House bowling lanes as "like Special Olympics or something." The White House quickly apologized for such a condescending and callous remark. But this is Mr. Obama unscripted.


On Saint Patrick's Day, Mr. Obama and President Brian Cowen of Ireland had issues with the Teleprompter as well. The president thanked himself for inviting everyone to the event. This would normally be a funny moment; however, because the president is so reliant upon every address being on Teleprompter he didn't even realize he was reading the wrong speech.


His handlers have failed in other ways as well. Note the treatment of two European heads of state.


The president has recently insulted two of our most historic western allies – France and Great Britain. First, Prime Minister Gordon Brown is invited to the White House to little fanfare, no state dinner, little acknowledgement of our greatest friend and partner in fighting the war on terror. In fact, as has been well noted, the president gave Mr. Brown a "well thought out gift" – a collection of 25 DVDs of American films. Even if Mr. Brown was a great fan of movies – and he is not – he is unable to play the videos in his 10 Downing Street residence. You see the Europeans don't share the same video format as Americans.


What did Mr. Brown give in return? Mr. Brown gave the president a pen and pencil set made with the wood of the HMS Resolute, the same wood that constitutes the desk that has occupied the Oval Office since 1880. Mr. Obama also was the recipient of an extremely valuable first edition copy of the seven-volume biography of Sir Winston Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.


One can't forget that the Obama's gave the Browns two model replicas of the Marine One helicopters (from the White House gift shop).


Hidden from most mainstream media outlets, the president of France has been directly insulted as well. In hopes to develop his burgeoning European relationships, Mr. Obama sent a letter to Jacques Chirac stating how he looks forward to working with him over the next four years. "I am certain that we will be able to work together, in the coming four years, in a spirit of peace and friendship to build a safer world." The problem is that Mr. Chirac has not been president of France for nearly a year! Nicolas Sarkozy is.


His handlers failed him again as they organized his first interview on January 27. To whom did Mr. Obama grant his first interview? Would it be ABC, CNN, NBC, CBS or FoxNews?


No! The newly sworn-in president gave his first interview to Al Arabiya, an Arabic language broadcast network. Mr. President, you are our president, not the Arab speaking world's president.


The presidency is not show biz, it is for real. When the American people elect a president, they expect a few things. They expect a leader – someone who is not condescending to other peoples or his own. They expect the president to build relationships – not hurt them (see Great Britain and France). They expect their president to be positive, even in the worst of times. They want to hear that things will get better, not how miserable things are. They want a president to be pulling his own strings.


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