Oratorical Amateur Hour

This is a wonderful compendium put together by TPM of media commentaries on John McCain’s dud of a speech last night and its contrast to Obama’s soaring oratory. Its fun to see the Fox News team trying to apply lipstick to this pig.

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0 Responses to Oratorical Amateur Hour

  1. Nikc says:

    George Bush weren’t much ‘oratorical’ neither

  2. BobbyG says:

    Nikc (?)

    Yeah, but he new about the Grecians and supported “spacial entrepreneurs” while Presidintin’ and Deciderin’.

  3. Hugo says:

    Excuse me, but I happen to be among the thirteen people in the United States who find Barack Obama’s oratory as dowstream derivative as the Colorado flowing into Nogales or wherever. Try reading a professional transcript of any of his addresses. That’s as to style.

    As to content, I dare any one of you to name an Obama speech that did not contain the most errant nonsense and hypocrisy.

    Just one. Go ahead. THINK!

  4. Morgan Warstler says:

    What annoys the speech and debate coach in me, is the way Obama affects the accent of a black preacher. I get it carries weight, but it isn’t real. It’s worse than Hillary’s twang.

  5. Hugo says:

    Although she drops her terminal G’s too conspicuously, she’s actually better at it than Barack is. Perhaps she learned in whatever church SHE attends. What church would that be, Morgan?

    The phonologists laugh their asses off at Barack’s feeble attempts at code-switching. He needs Oprah. He needs her bad.

  6. Mason Dixon says:

    Hugo, how about this one? Here’s a speech that was the antithesis of nonsense. Unfortunately, the real non-sense has been played out in the ensuing six years. Thank God there’s only thirteen of you.

    Against Going to War with Iraq
    by Barack Obama
    Good afternoon. Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances.
    The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don’t oppose all wars.
    My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain.
    I don’t oppose all wars.
    After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this Administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
    I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.
    What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income – to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.
    That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.
    Now let me be clear – I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.
    He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.
    But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.
    I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.
    I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.
    So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president today. You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.
    You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure that the UN inspectors can do their work, and that we vigorously enforce a non-proliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.
    You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.
    You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesn’t simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.
    Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.
    The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not – we will not – travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain.
    [edit]See also

  7. Jon Taplin says:

    I love his speaking style. Morgan and Hugo are afraid of emotion. This is much bigger than both of you think. Get in a room with him. You’ll be blown away.

    Did you look at the McCain video clips on this post? He’s so old they have to run the teleprompter at half speed.

  8. Hugo says:

    Jon, dammit. I knew Barry when he was a punk and a poseur, while the rest of us bought the American contribution to South African freedom at dear, deep expense.

  9. Hugo says:

    Mason Dixon, that’s rather courageously challenging of you, and I’ll get back to you on the transcript, which so affectionately omits the prevalent ejaculations and sublinguistic pauses for which Senator Obama is marked.

  10. Hugo says:

    Good God, Mason Dixon, for heavenssakes what’s with the bullshit Auschwitz reference? I mean, right off the bat how in hell does he think he can go before AIPAC, as he did do today, with the stink of his having played fast and loose with the fucking ineffable? He’s a shit, Mason Dixon.

    And I hope he’ll become our next President.

  11. Mason Dixon says:

    I’d say compared to our current White House occupier, who has cornered the market on sublinguistic pauses and non-relevant ejaculations, Obama’s speaking style is downright rapture inducing. At least his pauses are in service to an idea, or possibly an ideal. I could appreciate eight years of that. I am grateful for 1)Oratory, 2) Oratorical Style and 3)Not a Moron standing at podium making funny faces. I think you will grow to love this guy.

  12. Hugo says:

    Goddamit, Jon, does that man even bother any longer to open his mouth without the righteous-indignation schtick? From whence cometh his righteousness, FOR GOD’S SAKE?

    He can’t tell us, plain and clear, what in hell he’s on about because he’s too busy concealing that he’s on about nothing other than power. Power. Power. Power.

    Jonah wasted a whole book on what should’ve been the one-word definition of “fascism”: powerlust.

  13. Hugo says:

    And Mason Dixon, fuck off. Not a one of you can name in service of WHAT Obama blathers.

  14. Jon Taplin says:

    Hugo-He means to get us out of Iraq. He means to get us Universal Health Care. He means to loosen the control of Big Media over the FCC. He means to preserve the Net Neutrality of the Internet’s founding. He means to create incentives to cut our consumption of oil, shift us to hybrid cars. He aims to return control of school policy and spending to a local, bottoms up policy. He aims to make sure that Hedge fund operators getting paid billions a year don’t slip through some 12% tax loop hole.

    And thats a start.

  15. Ken Ballweg says:

    Wow Hugo, you passed Morgan in terms of assholeatudery.

  16. Hugo says:

    I know, Ken. And that’s some’n, eh?

    Jon, GOD BLESS YOU. NOW we’re getting somewhere. Let’s unpack.


  17. Hugo says:

    All my life—I mean really, since I was seven or eight years old—I’ve seen unpresentable persons stand up and speak the simple truth to no good effect at all, while beautiful persons have stood up for the most disgusting nonsense and carried the day. If I hear one more time that Barack Obama’s qualification for the Presidency of the United States is oratorical (as though this generation would know), I swear I’m gonna shack up with Sarandon in Timbuktu or wherever and leave her son Tim out in the cold.

  18. Jon Taplin says:

    Hugo- I don’t admire Barack just for his oratorical ability, although it didn’t do Lincoln, F. Roosevelt or Kennedy any harm. I admire him for having the cohones to take on a corrupt party organization controlled by you know who, that didn’t do squat to improve worker pay or regulate big oil, media , pharma or military.

    And I think he’s young enough to passionately want reform and not owe much to anyone. And that’s worth taking a chance on.

  19. Morgan Warstler says:

    FIRST OF ALL, I am the asshole around here – and you’d all be careful to remember the parable of the asshole.

    Second, Jon, stop saying he means to get us out of Iraq. Atleast wait until he actually visits there and finds out we won and the Iraqis want to pay to keep us around.

    The rest is a wash, I agree with you – but McCain will do the basic same damn thing, and thats unfortunate.

  20. zenkat says:

    Is it just me, or do McCain’s teeth look like they are about to fall out every time he “smiles”?

    The man does not look well. Really. Like “knocking on death’s door” not well. It’s disturbing.

    (And this is not a crack about McCain’s age. My Dad is 84, and he looks and acts far healthier than McCain.)

  21. Patrick Freeman says:


    “we won and the Iraqis want to pay to keep us around.” What flavor Kool-Aid do you favor?

  22. Mason Dixon says:

    Hugo, may I suggest that you add some more ice rather than topping that glass off one more time?
    And Morgan, the Iraqis, and I’m sure you speak for all of them, may or may not want to pay to keep us around, but I don’t want to pay to stay there. I don’t even want to pay the multi-millions it takes to send a candidate over for a heavily armoured half-day promenade around the green
    zone. It’s pointless. Pointless.

  23. Hugo says:

    Mason Dixon, it happens that I do not drink, though I do hold to the ancient view that an ad hominem attack does not an argument make.

  24. Morgan Warstler says:


    Don’t be afraid of Obama in Iraq. I personally think he’d be very well regarded by the troops and Iraqis. Photo-Ops galore.

    I also think he’d learn a hell of a lot. Obama is a great orator, he can totally say he wasn’t wrong, but now he has changed his mind – and still win the election.


    Dude, the oil contracts the Iraqis are offering the WESTERN oil companies are awesome. And, they are begging Petraeus to convince the oil companies the US will protect them coming into to set up the fields and infrastructure.

    The Kool-Aid flavor is OIL, and we are all drinking it.

  25. Mason Dixon says:

    Hugo, forgive me. I didn’t mean to be argumentative, merely helpful. But must we really waste precious air on the subject of “qualifications” after what we’ve been through? I’ll settle for intelligent with a conscience, or even simply the ability to construct a compound sentence.

    Zenkat, don’t worry, his teeth are held in by the vacuum created by clenching his sphincter. I agree, he does not look well. And he’s not exactly easy on the eyes. I hope he stops smiling soon. It’s creepy.

  26. gage says:

    We’ve won in Iraq? What have we won?

  27. Hans says:

    Oratorical? what’s that the word of the day over at fox? Isn’t that “Elitist Speak”?

    Not certain about you, but I’m thinking the horses need to be gathered and let the “quartering” begin. How dare they allow intelligence reveal its ugly head!

  28. Hugo says:

    “Didn’t mean to be argumentative”, Mason Dixon? Well that explains why you offered no argument at all. What it doesn’t explain, though, is what exactly you thought you were helping.

    If you are asking that this campaign offer you at the polling place something resembling “intelligent with a conscience”, then you’re SOL.

  29. Jon Taplin says:

    Hugo-Morgan is reserving the a**hole role. I think you need to go back to your James Joyce role of days of yore. You’re the one with the ad hominem attacks on Obama. We’ve given you more than enough evidence of real changes coming. You may not agree with them, but you can’t dismiss them. Tell me why Universal Broadband would be a bad thing? Tell me why average MPG in cars of 45 would be a bad thing?

  30. Another Jon says:

    Hugo is so cute when he is indignant.

  31. Morgan Warstler says:


    why do you want Hugo to be poor and homeless?

  32. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    By the way, Jon, I’m not certain about this, but I think that extraordinary vulgarity is two words, one beginning with ‘a’ and the other, ‘h’.

    I don’t know why these guys think they have to resort to this sort of bad language. It’s *so* unnecessary.

  33. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    Oh look! Another attempt at humor! Getting indignant mixed up with indigent. You know that would probably even be a pretty good example of humor if only it was funny.

    Well, at least he’s trying. That is a start.

    Nice work. 😉

    Peace and love.

  34. Phil says:

    Hugo: Oratory works when it moves you. Content and linguistic precision don’t matter much in speeches, because they alone don’t inspire anybody. And Obama’s not interested in you or the other 12 armchair quarterbacks. He talking to the dreamers, because at the end of the day, they are the one who make things happen.

    Oh, and as an aside, no matter how good you may be feeling, you should NOT stop taking your meds. I say this because I care.

    Morgan: Have you considered that everything looks and smells like oil because you are covered in it? Wipe that sh*t off and take a look around, you might find the world isn’t quite as simple you think. Maybe you do actually absorb and understand all the reading you seem to do, but I can’t help thinking that you just spend most of your time furiously sourcing refutations to everything Jon posts. And for the greater good, can you find some variation from “blah blah blah *oil* blah blah blah $MAX blah blah blah we’re winning”. Please?

    TWS: Vulgarity is quite effective, when used sparingly and well.

    Everyone else: Don’t look for Obama (or is wife Michelle, because she WILL be drawn into this) to be perfect. Our electoral process guarantees that he isn’t.

    Don’t focus on the messenger, focus on the message. We can change our country. Say it again:

    “We can change our country.”

    It’s awesome, isn’t it?

  35. STS says:


    “WE can change our country.” That’s my kind of awesome.

  36. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    Totally fucking awesome.

  37. Phil says:

    That’s the spirit TWS!!

  38. Mason Dixon says:

    Yes we can!!!

    And Hugo, I was only kidding about trying to be helpful. I was making a joke about the bellicose tone of some of your posts, specifically the one where you say, “And Mason Dixon, fuck off.” That came off as a little surly in my opinion, a quality I sometimes associate with one having had tee many martoonis.

    Fucking off for Peace!!

    Yes we can!!

  39. zak says:

    Patrick, you make me laugh. ““we won and the Iraqis want to pay to keep us around.” What flavor Kool-Aid do you favor?”

    I’d like to take a page of Morgan’s style manual and refer to a Reuters’s article yesterday AM. Morgan, they’re just begging us to stay!


    “A majority of the Iraqi parliament has written to Congress rejecting a long-term security deal with Washington if it is not linked to a requirement that U.S. forces leave, a U.S. lawmaker said on Wednesday. . .

    The proposed pact has become increasingly controversial in Iraq, where there have been protests against it. . .

    “The majority of Iraqi representatives strongly reject any military-security, economic, commercial, agricultural, investment or political agreement with the United States that is not linked to clear mechanisms that obligate the occupying American military forces to fully withdraw from Iraq,” the letter to the leaders of Congress said.

    The signatures represented just over half the membership of Iraq’s parliament, said Delahunt, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee chairman.

    Two Iraqi lawmakers whose parties were listed as signatories testified to Delahunt’s panel on Wednesday that U.S. troops should leave Iraq, and that talks on the long-term security pact should be postponed until after they are gone.

    “What are the threats that require U.S. forces to be there?” asked Nadeem Al-Jaberi, a co-founder of the al-Fadhila Shi’ite political party, speaking through a translator.

    “I would like to inform you, there are no threats on Iraq. We are capable of solving our own problems,” he declared. He favored a quick pullout of U.S. forces, which invaded the country in 2003 and currently number around 155,000.”

  40. Hugo says:

    Aw, leave me alone, you guys. I’ll vote for the punk, but he’s still full of it. Frankly I can scarcely believe how indellibly racist you are: you would not EVER let a white man get away with the sloppy BS Barack dishes.

    I’m blacker than Barry is, so get a frigging clue.

  41. Hugo says:

    Mason Dixon,

    You’re a great American. You wouldn’t know despair until it were the last thing that hit upside, but you’re a great American.

    I salute you, hat in hand, hand over heart.

    –Hugisimus Maxthimuth

  42. Hugo says:

    And by the way, how come that swank candidate of yours does his “Si se puedes” only when he needs the Latino vote?

    Just how drunk on complacency and irony do you postmod mofos want to be?

  43. Hugo says:

    Hey Mason Dixon, do you know that wonderful duet by Knopfler and Taylor in your honor, “Sailing to Philadelphia”?

    We’ve got JUNE BUGS here, ladies & genellmins, fireflies dazzling the adorable snout of my beloved dog, who seems to think they’re his rightful heralds. They be turning on both the AC and de DC. They be glowin’ fo’ de female of de specie…

    Johnny Mercer was Godd before Todd was, and June Bugs rule bigtime. So there, Coast Lefties…

  44. Morgan Warstler says:

    Zak, I personally think it’d be just fine to let current UN authority carry until there is a new president. I don’t think it’ll work out too much differently, but in a lot of this coming stuff, it’d better better for next admin to cut the deals – less likely to have people carping about it.

    Regardless of how it is spun (Iraq is a tons of little parties, so you only have to be the strongest minority to rule), for Iraq right now, it isn’t about US leaving, it is about having annual ability to tell us to go. And right now, the pretty popular Maliki is all about assuring Western oil companies they can invest in Iraq’s infrastructure safely. We need to respect Iraq’s sovereignty…

  45. P. Cross says:

    Change, right,change to what. How about Congress using the constitution for something other than toilet paper, now that would be a change.

    Hugo, vote for B.O. are you out of your freakin mind?

    That was rhetorical of course.

    This one has been fun to read.

  46. Hugo says:

    P. Cross, if you are the Professor Patricia, then I take back everything I’ve ever written and am honored to make your acquaintance at last. My sword, at your feet.

  47. P. Cross says:


  48. P. Cross says:

    Your just bragging now.

  49. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    Sorry, P. Cross, we don’t allow the word “freakin” in here.

  50. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    We also don’t allow the Constitution (capitalized, of course, unlike the way you do it you Anti-American traitor)) to be used as that other vulgar thing you wrote.

    You have bad manners.

  51. P. Cross says:

    Whoops, my bad

    Thank you

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