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May 4, 2011
Obama's secret teleprompter coach revealed
Barack Obama, the purported master orator, is spending a hundred thousand dollars of our tax money on an outside consultant to help him with his teleprompter skills. Perhaps last minute coaching is the reason why Sunday night's OBL speech was delayed so long. The hundred grand comes on top of the $624,000 payroll of the White House speech writing team, so Obama's masterful oratory is costing us close to three quarter of million bucks a year. With that kind of money, Gilbert Gottfried could sound good.
The White House is spending tens of thousands of dollars on a public relations firm headed by Democratic image maker Michael Sheehan - once dubbed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as an "extraordinary media coach" who helped her master the teleprompter. Mr. Sheehan's firm, Sheehan Associates, could receive more than $100,000 under a current contract and has been providing occasional speech and consulting services to the White House since 2009, federal purchasing records show. Although Mr. Sheehan has a reputation of helping politicians look good speaking in public, neither his firm nor its White House client has anything to say about the contracting arrangement. Sheehan Associates failed to respond to telephone and email inquiries about the hiring arrangement this week and last, as did the White House press office. As Dirty Harry said, "A man's gotta know his limitations." I do give credit to Obama for getting help. But can we please stop with the praise of his oratorical skills? The man knows how to read a teleprompter (with help), but as many have pointed out, when on his own, he often gets tangled up and ungrammatical.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky