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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    New Obama Controversy

    Obamaís Use of Complete Sentences
    Stirs Controversy
    Stunning Break with Last Eight Years
    November 18, 2008
    Associated Press

    In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

    Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama's appearance on CBS' "Sixty Minutes" on Sunday witnessed the president-elect's unorthodox verbal tick, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth.

    But Mr. Obama's decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring.

    According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota , some Americans might find it "alienating" to have a President who speaks English as if it were his first language.

    "Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement," says Mr. Logsdon. "If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist."

    The historian said that if Mr. Obama insists on using complete sentences in his speeches, the public may find itself saying, "Okay, subject, predicate, subject predicate - we get it, stop showing off."

    The President-elect's stubborn insistence on using complete sentences has already attracted a rebuke from one of his harshest critics, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska .

    "Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can't really do there, I think needing to do that isn't tapping into what Americans are needing also," she said.
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  2. #2
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    If I were an American, I'd be proud if my president spoke grammatically correct English.
    I mean, come on guys. Your president, he represents the whole continent, he should show he can represent it.

    To me, speaking a language fluidly, and correct, doesn't really represent elitism. To me it represents education, and respect for the language. He will get lots of respect for this from outside of the USA.

    Here in Belgium, we have a strong duality in our country, one part speaks Dutch, and the other part speaks French, those are our 2 main (first) languages. Everyone learns both at school (although the language education here in the dutch speaking part is better than in the french speaking part). Yet our own king, and the entire royal family, has difficulties speaking dutch. It's a shame. If we see or hear anything here on tv or on the radio, about the royal family, it always sounds like it's about some kids that escaped from kindergarten.

    Please, now you have a proper educated president, be happy, for once.

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  3. #3
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Hey Bert,

    I'm pretty sure the article is false, a sarcasm-laden bit to take a swipe at Bush's many foifbles with the English language. Clearly there's a lot of material with GW but it's kind of a "glass houses" proposition. If you actually check out any of the vids from townhall meetings, Q&A's or any other non-scripted or teleprompted events you'd find hat Obama is not the most gifted speaker. His speech tends to be littered with "uh's" and "um's".

    In fairness to the President-Elect, countless hours on the campaign trail not spent in Congress voting would be exhaustive, not conducive for perfect grammatics or speech. Also in fairness, none of his syntactical issues approach the drivel of Bush Two's content.

    In any case, we all remain hopeful. BTW, good to see you posting again. I trust the summer job was rewarding.

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  4. #4
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    We will also have to suffer hearing the correct pronunciation of the word "nuclear" for the next 4 years. It's just not right.

  5. #5
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Dittoes JM ...er..... wait there has been a change.......
    Kudos JM!!!

  6. #6
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    Hey, we just want us a maverick, don't ya know. We don't want to use no dern dictionary just to understand hows we're gettin shafted, oops, I mean, what they're goin to do fer us. We need more people to come here to Alaska and live in an igloo. Alls you need is to shoot some mooses and catch some fish, you got it made. Those guys in the lower states are just panty waste whiners any way. Here's our motto, "come to Alaska and see Russia from your back yard".

  7. #7
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    Being firmly entrenched in the middle politically, I hope I can offer a fair evaluation. I was not that impressed with either McCain or Obama. I did become more impressed with McCain in the last month or so. His concession speech was a classic. Obama is a superb speaker and political organizer. I have been mostly impressed by him after the elections. He seems to be very focused and strongly directed. I applaud his statement that he will allow embryo stem cell research.

    However, when It comes to extemporaneous speaking, Sarah Palin is more articulate and impressive. To mock her folksy Alaskan demeanor is unreasonable. I was there on business many times and their friendliness is real and refreshing. I have to agree with Sticks that when off the teleprompter, Obama is somewhat hesistant and almost seems to stammer at times. Her being a former television reporter undoubtedly helps in her on camera professionalism and smoothness.

    Unfortunately, the far left and far right seem to jump on any opportunity to pounce on their opponent with questionable comments. This humors me from the reports that Palin was unaware that Africa was a continent to Obama being a muslim (both nonsense). They both seemed to me to be underqualified, experience wise, for the offices they were seeking.

    With maturity comes the wisdom in both life and our political views that no one issue or person is the answer to all. I am frequently reminded of this as I observe the actions of the NRA members buying up guns in record numbers after Obama's election to the demonstrations at churches by the Proposition 8 opponents. I don't have any problem with these people expressing their views but some of them seem to see single issues to be the end all.

    I sincerely hope that Obama does well as our president. I only regret that many of those that I strongly admired are not still with us to see this day: Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters), Nat King Cole, Eubie Blake, Marian Anderson, Buck O'Neil, Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall and on and on. I do not wish to cannonize any of these folks. It is just that they are people who impressed me. The fact that they had to sit in the back of the bus, eat in separate restaurants, drink from separate drinking fountains and stay in separate hotels was an appalling insult to their human dignity.

    RR6
    Last edited by RoadRunner6; 11-20-2008 at 09:06 PM.

  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    ...
    However, when It comes to extemporaneous speaking, Sarah Palin is more articulate and impressive. To mock her folksy Alaskan demeanor is unreasonable. I was there on business many times and their friendliness is real and refreshing. I have to agree with Sticks that when off the teleprompter, Obama is somewhat hesistant and almost seems to stammer at times. Her being a former television reporter undoubtedly helps in her on camera professionalism and smoothness. ...
    I do agree with both the Palin and Obama sides of the above statements. I thank the the JM's orginal quotes are unfairly disparaging of Palin (by insinuation). It wasn't Palins folksy manner that bothered me but rather her lack on insightful content.


    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    ... Unfortunately, the far left and far right seem to jump on any opportunity to pounce on their opponent with questionable comments. ...
    There IS no "far left" in the U.S. worth mentioning. The Democratic Party is a solidly centrist party by the standard of world politics. And the whole U.S. political spectrum certainly skewed to the right by the broader standard. The Repulican party still includes many centrists with a financially conservative slant, however since the end of the "yellow-dog" southern, (i.e. conservative), Democat era that party has become overwhelming right-wing. [EDIT: That is to say, since the Republican Party absorbed the former "yellow dogs".] Really, an unwholesome alliance of economic right-wingers, and social conservatives and pharisaic religionists. IMO, the former group have coopted the latter and are using them as naive voters to advance extreme right-wing, anarcho-capitalist policies that can ultimately benefit only large corporations and the ultra-rich.
    Last edited by Feanor; 11-21-2008 at 12:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Ajani
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    If I'm not mistaken the article quoted by JM is from a political satirist... I actually read it yesterday on the Huffington Post... it's more a stab at Bush than anything else...

    Palin gets mocked not for being cutesy and folksy but for being (or at least appearing to be) a moron (basically a female G.W.Bush)... There is absolutely nothing wrong with being from a small town and being friendly, but if you intend to run for the highest (or 2nd highest) office in the land you need to be Smart, Experienced or Both - if you don't desire to be mocked relentlessly by the media and the public...

    My hope still remains that 1) Obama can do a good job and help move both parties closer to the center and turn America into one big purple state... 2) The Republican party not only moves towards the center and lets the extremists (whether pro-guns, pro-life, pro-war or pro-evangelical) start their own crazy little parties... but also gets back to basics with good old fashioned fiscal prudence... it's a damned shame when the Democrats have more credibility with balancing the budget than the Republicans...

  10. #10
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    .

    However, when It comes to extemporaneous speaking, Sarah Palin is more articulate and impressive. To mock her folksy Alaskan demeanor is unreasonable. I was there on business many times and their friendliness is real and refreshing. I have to agree with Sticks that when off the teleprompter, Obama is somewhat hesistant and almost seems to stammer at times. Her being a former television reporter undoubtedly helps in her on camera professionalism and smoothness.

    Unfortunately, the far left and far right seem to jump on any opportunity to pounce on their opponent with questionable comments. This humors me from the reports that Palin was unaware that Africa was a continent to Obama being a muslim (both nonsense). They both seemed to me to be underqualified, experience wise, for the offices they were seeking.


    Here's the thing - the majority of Palin's speeches and appearanced during the campaign were the sort of lob-balled, canned, pre-prepared question and answer stuff that every candidate does well at these days - Even Bush. The ones that weren't pre-canned she was either very good with, or very bad. There was no mediocre with her. She'll be practicing I'm sure.

    The presidential candidates faced much harder impromptu questions and had much more stress and consequence associated with their responses. I don't put much weight in the "umms" and "uhhs" a person might interrupt their repsonses with. That's no big deal, every public speaker I've ever seen has been reduced to that from time to time. It's actually a positive, it shows Obama can thing fast and deeply on his feet while still delivering a coherent response with precision. McCain did much of the same, and I thought was underrated himself.
    What you usually get with politicians is a "the same ol' answer" to questions of common themes, which gives us nothing new, and sometimes, not even the answer to the question we want. Just catchphrases and slogans. Neither of those guys did that.

    I personally felt McCain and Obama were two of the better impromptu responders in recent history, umhs and uhhhs aside, they were sincere, intelligent, and didn't dodge or can their responses. Hope that's a sign of things to come.

  11. #11
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    I didn't follow the US campaigns nearly as much as you all did. But I will say that I think that Palin got a bad deal. In the interviews that I did see, I thought that she came off as intelligent and down to earth.

    Sure she flubbed some interviews and answered some questions poorly, but seriously, what politician hasn’t done that. One of the biggest criticisms that I heard about her was her lack of experience. If that’s true then some interview faux pas are to be expected. Just because one doesn’t perform well in an interview, under pressure, in a situation that is new, doesn’t mean that one is not intelligent or capable of doing the job. Yet that is the conclusion that everyone seemed to come to. I’m not suggesting that ultimately the conclusion isn’t correct. I don’t know if it is or if it isn’t. I’m just saying that I don’t think the logic that led to it is correct.

    Frankly, I thought that Palin was a refreshing change from the usual “old boys” that we tend to see in politics. This was someone that I could relate to. Someone that I felt like I could sit down and have a real conversation with over a glass of wine or a cup of tea. A person who felt “friendly”. I think that she was a great choice for a V.P. candidate for all of those reasons. The only fault with the plan, that I could see, was her lack of experience in such a high pressure situation. If she had had more time to learn the ropes and cultivate her skills, I believe that she would have been more successful. I do think that she has opened the door for someone else with her grassroots traits to try again.

    And, just to be clear, I don’t think that person has to be a woman. I didn’t feel that way about Clinton. Although a woman, she seemed to me to fit right into that old boys camp.

    The political climate is changing. People are tired of the liars and thieves that run our countries. They want change. They want a leader that they can believe in and relate to. I would love to have a person like Palin, someone that I feel “friendly” towards, run in a leadership race in my country. The stout old boys have held the reigns for far too long and look where we all are. It’s time for a new breed of politicians.

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    With the exception of the above post...

    ...


    And now, back to the

  13. #13
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    With the exception of the above post...

    ...


    And now, back to the
    Leg Humper!

  14. #14
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    I didn't follow the US campaigns nearly as much as you all did. But I will say that I think that Palin got a bad deal. In the interviews that I did see, I thought that she came off as intelligent and down to earth.

    Sure she flubbed some interviews and answered some questions poorly, but seriously, what politician hasnít done that. One of the biggest criticisms that I heard about her was her lack of experience. If thatís true then some interview faux pas are to be expected. Just because one doesnít perform well in an interview, under pressure, in a situation that is new, doesnít mean that one is not intelligent or capable of doing the job. Yet that is the conclusion that everyone seemed to come to. Iím not suggesting that ultimately the conclusion isnít correct. I donít know if it is or if it isnít. Iím just saying that I donít think the logic that led to it is correct.

    Frankly, I thought that Palin was a refreshing change from the usual ďold boysĒ that we tend to see in politics. This was someone that I could relate to. Someone that I felt like I could sit down and have a real conversation with over a glass of wine or a cup of tea. A person who felt ďfriendlyĒ. I think that she was a great choice for a V.P. candidate for all of those reasons. The only fault with the plan, that I could see, was her lack of experience in such a high pressure situation. If she had had more time to learn the ropes and cultivate her skills, I believe that she would have been more successful. I do think that she has opened the door for someone else with her grassroots traits to try again.

    And, just to be clear, I donít think that person has to be a woman. I didnít feel that way about Clinton. Although a woman, she seemed to me to fit right into that old boys camp.

    The political climate is changing. People are tired of the liars and thieves that run our countries. They want change. They want a leader that they can believe in and relate to. I would love to have a person like Palin, someone that I feel ďfriendlyĒ towards, run in a leadership race in my country. The stout old boys have held the reigns for far too long and look where we all are. Itís time for a new breed of politicians.
    Interesting point of view and I agree on some points...

    I agree that Hilary seemed just like part of the old boys club... The Clintons IMO were the best of the old breed of politics... so even though I liked them (for the most part), there's no getting around the fact that they are still typical lying politicians...

    Palin failed in 2 ways: 1) She just didn't come off as being intelligent & 2) She maybe a Washington outsider, but she is also so far to the right that she alienates a great deal of the population... she's extreme on abortion (would make abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest), guns, gay marriage....

    Also, why do people feel that they can only have a comfortable conversation with a folksy small town politician? Why do they think that Palin would be cool to chat with, but not Obama?

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Yeah, but according to the right-wingers over at PowerLine, Obama's got a long way to go before he achieves the verbal discipline and gaffe-free thinking of that "careful" and "precise" wordsmither, George Dubya Bush!

    Obama thinks he is a good talker, but he is often undisciplined when he speaks. He needs to understand that as President, his words will be scrutinized and will have impact whether he intends it or not. In this regard, President Bush is an excellent model; Obama should take a lesson from his example. Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly. He chooses his words with care and precision, which is why his style sometimes seems halting. In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed. If Obama doesn't raise his standards, he will exceed Bush's total before he is inaugurated.
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  16. #16
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    It's a good thing Dubya hasn't committed gaffes. If he had, there might be websites dedicated to them. Letterman might poke fun at him. Whew! Thank goodness.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    If I'm not mistaken the article quoted by JM is from a political satirist... I actually read it yesterday on the Huffington Post... it's more a stab at Bush than anything else...



    Yes exactly and thank you for getting it.
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  18. #18
    nightflier
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    Some thoughts:

    On McCain's concession speech: I find it particularly insulting that he had the gall to invoke the suffering of African Americans while his own campaign used some blatantly racist tactics to try and win. Yes, it seemed conciliatory, but let's be frank, his campaign played the race card over & over again, and he certainly didn't reign in the lipsticked bulldog.

    Speaking of Bible Spice, to suggest that she was at all qualified to be vice president, completely negates her appalling political record of power-grubbing and arbitrarily executive management. Has everybody forgotten that she idolized Cheney, that she lobbied for the spot for months with Washington insiders on their Alaskan cruises, that she fired people for personal and religious reasons, that she flip-flopped on the bridge to nowhere, and that she alienated anyone who did not agree with her political or religious views? Let's remember she sued George Bush Jr. for the right to kill Polar Bears and just last week was seen on camera pardoning a turkey, while in the background the rest of the screaming coop was being beheaded in a most disgusting manner? That's hypocrisy for you! Did we really come that close to having Cheney 2.0 for president? You betcha.

    And why does everybody keep comparing Caribou Barbie with Obama? They weren't running against each other, people. She was running against Biden, who apparently came off looking, or rather sounding, even better as a result - he's not exactly known for being tactful. Perhaps the reality was that both McCain and Palin were running against Obama and that Biden was the distant third wheel, but that still doesn't put her anywhere near the caliber of Obama as far as presentation, speaking ability, or appearance. So she wears a skirt, she also carries a gun, so I'm sorry but the white gloves are off. She was a disaster on so many levels that it's hard to even think we came so close to the brink.

    On whether our political spectrum is centrist. Pluuueeeze, maybe in comparison with Uzbekistan (where they boil people alive instead of water-boarding them). But to the rest of the Western world we are anything but centrist. There is no left in this country, aside from a few marginalized souls. Go anywhere else and you find anarchists, communists, and atheists that would make Kucinich and Nader look like saints. No, to the rest of the Westernized world, we are opportunistic, callous, infantile, and laughable. Has everybody forgotten Anita Hill and the pubic hair in the wine glass hearings? How about when we impeached a president because he had an affair with an intern? So leme get this straight, that wasn't OK, but diverting critical intelligence resources that could have prevented 9/11 was OK? Lying to get us into war, that's OK? How about Outing Valery Plame because her hubby didn't agree with him, that was OK? How about using Chinese Water Torture (aka water-boarding) in violation of international and national law was OK? Eavesdropping on our most private conversations and forcing phone companies to participate, is OK? Bankrupting the country, bailing out his friends, and then letting the whole kit-n-caboodle sink to crap is OK? But having an affair was not. Yeah, OK, we're real civilized.

    Let's remember, this country is so far down the crapper that we said, OK, I guess I'd rather vote for the liberal black guy who looks like Malcolm X. We can only thank providence that Obama's support was so great in Ohio that even the 100,000 or so flipped votes for McCain (yes, that's this year, not 2004) were not enough to steal this election. Because if McCain / Palin had won, things would be so much worse right now, and they'd only be headed further South for the next four years (sorry Tex, I didn't mean in your direction... or maybe I did...). Yes, the economy is not stellar, but at least it is reasonably stable now. Most analysts don't see things going much lower, and that's a testament to Obama winning this last election.

    Give Obama two years, and we'll all be asking McCain-who?

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    Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Blah blah blah.BLAH blah blah blah BLAH. Fixed!


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    Last edited by Rich-n-Texas; 11-21-2008 at 05:02 PM.

  20. #20
    nightflier
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    Hmmm, I thought it was worthy of a few more Blahs. Maybe you should take an Alaskan cruise. I hear Palin is quite the entertainer....

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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Hmmm, I thought it was worthy of a few more Blahs. Maybe you should take an Alaskan cruise. I hear Palin is quite the entertainer....
    Well, she does have great legs ya know?

  22. #22
    nightflier
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    Yeah, just watch were she points that gun, when you start getting frisky.

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    McCain made a mistake by NOT being a maverick and letting himself be handled by the Republican machine. Some body brought Palin in without doing their home work and McCain had to make the best of it. I ain't buying all of his kind words and support for her. She came off on TV with all the intelligence of Jessica Simpson. Ajani got it right, it wasn't her "folksy" act that repulsed me, it was her ignorance and, well, if she didn't have to talk. People get made fun of if they are different. Comics make a living on it, so don't cry over a joke on Palin's dialect. She has plenty of other points we can make fun of. I was a McCain supporter way back before Bush when he was for reform in Congress. Back when he was all about "there's going to be blood on the Senate floor". Talking all that crap before Bush took office. When Bush got elected they shut McCain down like flipping a switch. You can't walk and talk like a duck for eight years and then try to convince people you are a wolf. McCain seemed like he started his campaign with no ideas what so ever then when Obama started gaining support with his plans McCain thought "well I had better come up with something" and that something was a load of crap, taxing our health benefits? Giving $5k to health insurance companies for us when it costs an average of $12k now? The Republicans have lived so high on the hog and raping this country so long they are totally out of touch and out of their minds. I don't mind saying I am basically a concervative but regardless of what you may think I'm not stupid either. Obama may not have been the ideal candidate but much of what he planned to do made sense and a lot better for my family than what McCain was wanting to do.

    NF, I'd give you a chicklet if I could, you made plenty of good points.

    It did seem like it was Obama against both Palin and McCain. But Joe handed Palin her head when they debated.

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    FA, I followed your comments in the abortion thread, I find it very interesting that you think you could sit down and have a conversation with Palin. You two are about as polar opposites as two people can get. The commonality, you are both women. I have a high school friend, she used to be my girlfriend, is the same way. She told me she don't like Obama and not sold on McCain so she don't know for who or if she will vote. But once Palin was on the ticket boy she was sold on McCain/Palin, no matter what stupid ideas they came up with. For the most part at first I think picking Palin was working to swing women voters just because she was a woman.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    ...NF, I'd give you a chicklet if I could, you made plenty of good points...
    Mr. P., forgive me for reducing your thoughtful response to just one line, but truthfully, I didn't understand a word NF said.

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