WASHINGTON — As he introduced his new choice for secretary of health and human services in the East Room this week, President Obama turned his head from right to left, but he wasn’t looking at the audience. He was reading from two teleprompters, strategically set up outside the tight television camera shot.
Presidents have been using teleprompters for more than half a century, but none relied on them as extensively as Mr. Obama has so far. While presidents typically have used them for their most important speeches to the nation — an inauguration, a State of the Union or an Oval Office address — Mr. Obama uses them for everyday routine announcements, and even for the opening statement at his news conference.
To celebrate the occasion, I've thrown together a brief video highlighting this comical phenomenon in action—at least, if the Defenders of the Union over at YouTube don't yank it first.
He really does resemble a one-man audience at a tennis match, doesn't he?
(And yeah, I'm definitely no expert at video production. If anyone with actual skill wants to take a stab at this, please be sure to pass your work along to me for swift linking.)
Exit question: Where in the hell was the New York Times on this story during the past election? It's not like this is the first time he's used these devices before (case in point: the video above consists entirely of campaign speeches), and being completely unable to give a speech without reading verbatim from a script tends to suggest that the politician in question lacks a certain amount of experience, doesn't it?