By Rich Lowry
The Hendricks County Flyer
Fri Nov 02, 2012, 04:50 PM EDT
All of President Barack Obama's campaign rallies could be summed up in one sentence, "The president spoke, and hilarity ensued."
The president doesn't just make his fans faint, he cracks them up with a reliability that Groucho Marx or Johnny Carson might envy. The president won the Nobel Peace Prize when he really deserved to nose out Robin Williams for recognition as a "Stand-Up Icon" at The Comedy Awards.
Here is a part of a transcript of a fairly typical Obama event, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco a few days after the first debate. He was talking about Mitt Romney and taxes:
"So a few weeks ago, you can start seeing he's figuring out, well, this isn't maybe selling that well. (Laughter.) And then, a few nights ago - (laughter) - suddenly a guy pretending to be Mitt Romney stood on a stage next to me - (laughter and applause) - and said he's changing his plan. He is just going to pretend it doesn't exist. What $5 trillion tax cut? (Laughter.) I don't know anything about a $5 trillion tax cut. Don't pay attention to that tax cut behind the curtain. (Laughter.) During the debate he said, 'There is no economist who can say Mitt Romney's tax plan adds $5 trillion to the deficit if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.' (Laughter.)"
It's not just the mildly amusing material. He can say he'll get rid of boondoggles and bridges to nowhere, and get laughs. He can say he's created millions of private-sector jobs and get them rolling in the aisles. There may well be an audience out there that has laughed uproariously when he said he killed Osama bin Laden.
The laughter is testament less to Obama's actual wit than the overriding belief among his listeners that he is witty. When his supporters arrive at an event, they expect to be entertained and dazzled. For them, he is the most interesting president in the world. He exists in a bubble of adoration almost as impenetrable as the security bubble created by the Secret Service.
This is why he can show up for the most important event of his re-election campaign, the first debate, and expect his usual talking points to be considered devastatingly dispositive. The absence of cries of "We love you!" must have been disorienting. They say that a sitting president usually loses the first debate, since he isn't used to getting challenged. For Obama, this isn't just a function of the presidency, but of his existence.
All of his life he has been around people prepared to be impressed by him. President Obama once told a journalist that he believes his own bull***t. It has been his privilege to be surrounded by people who want to believe it, too.
Outside this cocoon, he has shown no great ability to persuade skeptical audiences. His make-or-break speeches on policy issues during his first term usually fizzled. He has failed to convince recalcitrant congressmen to come around on difficult legislation, or to forge relationships with them so that they'll do him favors when the chips are down. He's a glittering object to be admired from afar.
In recent weeks, his rhetoric has been less about persuading swing voters than about mocking Mitt Romney for the amusement of his easily amused crowds. They love it when he talks of Romney hunting down Big Bird, and eat up his lame coinage of "Romnesia," a line that could have been borrowed from a Bill Maher monologue. While he shines in front of audiences drunk on their love for him, Obama is persistently at around 47 percent in national polls - in other words, at about the floor of what any Democrat could expect to get. So far, he failed to convince anyone to support him who wasn't already convinced.
That's his predicament, and one day his supporters might realize that it isn't very funny.
(c) 2012 by King Features Syndicate
Will the current V.A. backlog on veterans’ compensation claims be the next scandal to hit the administration?
Currently, the backlog is at 865,000 plus compensation claims with a wait time of greater than 125 days.
June 18, 2013
Apparently, it is not enough to tolerate, accept, or even endorse the gay agenda. Now, unless you tolerate and accept criminal behavior committed by gays, you are a hater.
Believe it — that is the very public argument being made in behalf of Florida high school cheerleader Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, who faces criminal charges for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Word on the street and in the media is that it will be a really bad summer for mosquitoes. Or should I say, it will be a really bad summer for humans, because it will be a great year for thirsty mosquitoes.
June 14, 2013
As a Christian, I feel compelled to respond to a recent letter to the editor.
When Barack Obama announced his presidential campaign back in February 2007, he did it in front of the old Springfield, Ill., Statehouse in a speech full of references to Abraham Lincoln.
Ordinarily I don’t take requests, but a bunch of people have written to ask how I’m doing with my weight-loss surgery and I thought this might be the most efficient way to answer.
June 11, 2013
I am a grandmother who went to the Brownsburg graduation ceremony on June 7 and due to very poor planning on Brownsburg School’s part, I could not sit and watch my twin grandsons graduate in person. I was directed to an overflow room where I had to watch it on a TV screen and could not even take pictures.
What you are now hearing across the land is a collective whine. Blue-state Democrats are upset that Texas Gov. Rick Perry dares come and play in their sandboxes, and worse, threatens to “poach” jobs from their states.
The website Politico reports that Perry’s attempts to lure jobs to Texas are “infuriating to prominent Democrats around the country.”
I am the first to admit I am behind the times when it comes to technology. I remember way back in the olden days of the 1990s when I was actually ahead of the game. Now there are second-graders that are more tech savvy than me. I just decided to stop my forward technological progression a few years back.
June 7, 2013
College graduates facing a crushing debt – some more than $100,000 – is a very big and a very real problem.
But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent proposal to deal with it won’t solve the problem. It is a cheap ploy to divert attention from the real problem.
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
General Keith Alexander says two recently disclosed surveillance programs on international communications are critical in the terrorism fight.
June 18, 2013
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