November 11, 2008

Josh Marshall cannot believe what John Hinderaker wrote.

Link to Marshall (who misspells Hinderaker -- think rake, Josh, not rack). Here's the quote:
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.

48 comments:

garage mahal said...

In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed.

Haha.

Rich B said...

I guess Mr. TPM's assessment is so intuitively obvious that no explanation is necessary. Also to Bill Kelly.

Salamandyr said...

I think the cognitive dissonance comes from mistaking a malapropism with a gaffe.

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
save_the_rustbelt said...

Oops.

BUSH ANGER: OBAMA AIDES LEAK CHAT DETAILS
Tue Nov 11 2008 09:28:10 ET

Just hours after President Bush and President-elect Obama met in the Oval Office of the White House, details of their confidential conversation began leaking out to the press, igniting anger from the president, sources claim.

"Senator Obama would be wise to keep close counsel," a top Bush source warned.

"BUSH AND OBAMA AT ODDS OVER AID FOR AUTO INDUSTRY," splashed the NEW YORK TIMES in an exclusive Monday evening, quoting "people familiar with the discussion."

The two met at the White House in private, without staff.

Arturius said...

In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed.

Is he being serious?

ricpic said...

Bush is stolid; Obama is slippery: a much higher metrosexual value.

Darcy said...

I read Powerline everyday, and I must admit that made me chuckle. I do think salamandyr has it right for the most part, though.

Very few actual gaffes. Plenty to disagree with, but he was overall a very disciplined speaker.

Rich B said...

I watched a bit of the PM's question on Sunday night and saw this exchange-

"David Cameron wasted no time in rubbing Gordon Brown's nose in the political irony of his own words. He asked the prime minister whether his congratulatory message to the President Elect included the phrase "this is no time for a novice?"'

You gotta expect mistakes from a novice, if you vote for Hope and Change.

Simon said...

Marshall is trading on an imprecision in Hindraker's comments: Bush has made few substantive gaffes in public speaking. As Salamandyr said, above, malapropisms are stylistic gaffes - unfortunate, to be sure, but not the kind of stuff that gives the game away.

Darcy said...

Oh, and here we go!

What a creep Obama is already. Pfft.

Maguro said...

One that comes to mind immediately is the "crusade against terrorism" remark, but I really can't think of too many others.

I think it's fair to say he has been pretty careful with his words.

Joe M. said...

Title: "Hindraker."
Post: "Hinderaker."

Arturius said...

One that comes to mind immediately is the "crusade against terrorism" remark, but I really can't think of too many others.

Bush has had his share of gaffes but offending the sensiblities of Muslim nations who openly cheered 9/11 I don't believe that to be one of them. But that's just me.

Maguro said...

Bush has had his share of gaffes but offending the sensiblities of Muslim nations who openly cheered 9/11 I don't believe that to be one of them.

After making this remark, Bush ended up appearing at a mosque and mumbling some nonsense about Islam being a religion of peace blah blah blah so in my book it is a gaffe.

If he had used a word other than "crusade" he wouldn't have needed to do that.

LarsPorsena said...

"bitter people clinging to guns and religion"
"Bankrupting the coal industry"
"renege on NAFTA"
"invade Pakistan"

Bush's stumbling style is cause for lampooning Bush. BO's potential gaffe's will have grave consequences as president. What do you think the impact of the three above examples would be if BO repeated them as President.
This ain't the campaign trail and his speeches can't be crafted or triangulated for each group he is speaking to. He's better always keep that teleprompter in front while speaking.

Lem said...

I recall President Bush using the expression "it’s unacceptable to think that our actions can compare with that of terrorist". In response to Powell’s suggestion that "the world was beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."

Never mind that Powell pretended to speak for the world.

Keith Olbermann took Bush’s use of a commonly generic phrase and turned into an Orwellian dictatorial pronouncement.

Let’s keep an eye on Keith to see what he does with Obamas use of the language.

Rich B said...

Obama may have been able to fool enough US voters, but some of our friends in Russia, Iraq and al Qaeda are a little more realistic in their assessments.

Ann Althouse said...

Oops. I misspelled it too... trying to correct it though...

Fixed.

It's very dangerous to draw attention to mistakes!

Host with the Most said...

Let’s keep an eye on Keith to see what he does with Obama's use of the language.

Here's a thousand dollar bet that you won't see anything critical at all from Olberman when Obama misspeaks.Instead, count on him - and that wretched piece of human filth Rachel Maddow - to always use any publicly discussed Obama gaffes as an opportunity to attack the by then-former President Bush.

I've written about Obama's speaking gaffes several times in Althouse comments. Glad to see others are waking up to reality.

On this issue, I'm gonna beat the Obama worshippers like Michael and ZPS like a drum. It's gonna be a great 4 years!

bagoh20 said...

While most of us Americans are impressed with ourselves for electing everything Obama symbolizes. Our enemies and competitors in the world are not. They will see every gaffe as the weakness expected from such a style over substance choice. He (we) will be tested and exploited for it. I hope he actually demonstrates strength and decisiveness early to change this dynamic. And I mean against our enemies not Republicans. Our enemies are hyenas with no respect for our ideals and couldn't care less about his skin color or "hope and change". Nothing is more dangerous than a weak alpha and the US is the alpha. Rise to it Barack and I'm with ya.

Arturius said...

On this issue, I'm gonna beat the Obama worshippers like Michael and ZPS like a drum. It's gonna be a great 4 years!

Or 8 to 10 depending on who you ask.

Doyle said...

that wretched piece of human filth Rachel Maddow

Easy there, killer.

Alex said...

Bush made 3 big gaffes:

* Mission accomplished on the carrier
* "Bring em on"
* Publicly stating he had political capital to spend on SocSec reform(never say that publicly)

knox said...

Let’s keep an eye on Keith ...

eh, you do it for me.

PJ said...

"invade Pakistan"

I think we're still waiting to see whether that one was a mistake or an intentional, considered statement.

holdfast said...

"* Mission accomplished on the carrier
* "Bring em on"
* Publicly stating he had political capital to spend on SocSec reform(never say that publicly)"

-Those weren't really gaffes in that they were not off the cuff.

-The first was simply wrong - or maybe wishful thinking.

-The second was completely appropriate so not a gaffe at all.

-The third was the most gaffe-like - I can't remember for sure if it was part of prepared comments, but it is plain stupid - like announcing that you are going to take the gloves off.

-

Sigivald said...

Alex - Bush didn't put that banner on the carrier, and its mission was accomplished, as it was heading home.

Bush had said that "major combat operations" were finished in Iraq... and it was true, as far as anyone knew at the time.

Being wrong in hindsight isn't much of a "gaffe".

Pogo said...

Just like the homeless will magically disappear under BHO, so will the gaffe-o-rama calenders and books. Newsroom editing will make him look like MLK. Online readers will have access to the truth, but really, most of the electorate are typical liberal sheep, aren't they? Professional victims and wholly dependent on the state, they censor themselves. Their only meaningful complaints center on bread and circuses.

So there's hardly a need for the professionals to airbrush the emperor.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

The flip side of Hinderaker's point (and I think Simon clarifies it correctly) is that while Bush almost always stayed on message, he totally failed to engage the public. His administration paid a huge price for his defensiveness, in loss of trust and lack of interest in his formal policy speeches.

Presidents that have the confidence to speak candidly and personnally to the public create a sense of friendship and understanding that easily absorbs the occasional blunders.

John Lynch said...

Hinderaker makes sense. Bush may mispronounce words or speak ungrammatically, but you can almost always tell exactly what he means. It's hard to misinterpret Bush. His deficiency wasn't in expression, but the lack of understanding for what the country needed to hear.

John Kerry, on the other hand, seemed to have real difficulty expressing himself clearly at all.

Obama is in the middle. Often he says things that aren't clear, or suffer from fridge logic. You think about it later, and you think, "wait a minute. Is that what he meant?" Doesn't happen with W.

Cedarford said...

Hinderaker misses the forest for the trees. Yes, Bush avoided lots of gaffes by being a minimalist communicator, but that spare him from being a poor, even horrific communicator in selling his policies and defending them and himself from attack.

Far better to have a President who communicates regularly and effectively with the public, even with gaffes and "mistatements" than hide behind the White House gates for fear of tripping over one's tongue. Or operating off the premise that a "discplined, terse" 5 minute spiel is better for your bond with the American people than a fireside chat or speaking effectively through a spokesman on what your vision is..

Clinton and Reagan and FDR had lots of gaffes. But they got the communications stuff done right.

Another area Bush screwed up in was in thinking that "symbolic visits" with "victim families of 9/11, dead soldiers families" would magically communicate his understanding and empathy towards the situation to the public.

Over the course of Iraq, Bush invested over 1100 hours of scarce time meeting with "Families of Fallen Heroes" and attending symbolic ceremonies. Now, on a personal level, that might be good, but it hurt him as a communicator of where Iraq was going and what he was doing with the other 299.995 million Americans who got inadequate communication from their war leader, and it hurt the troops when he let atrocity charges stand unchallenged and never honored their successes except when celebrating feats of dead soldiers.

I hate to say it, but I agree with Josh Marshall that "be like Bush" in how you connect as President Obama with the People, is stunningly bad advice from Hinderaker. And perhaps even deliberately bad advice.

Joan said...

As much as it pains me to admit this, on this issue, I agree with Cedarford. Bush hasn't made many substantive gaffes, but that's because he gave up trying to communicate anything to the public.

It doesn't help that the media basically ignores him, but that's no excuse for the piss-poor job of public relations the Bush administration has done.

John Lynch said...

Cedarford nailed it.

Eric said...

...but that spare him from being a poor, even horrific communicator in selling his policies and defending them and himself from attack.

I've always believed after the 2004 election he just didn't care that much. He knew Congress couldn't realistically deny him war funding, and he couldn't be reelected. So he just did the minimum interface with the voters.

Michael said...

George:

"I hope we get to the bottom of the answer. That's what I'm interested to know." G.W.

"Will the highways on the internet become more few?" G.W.

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" G.W.

"We ought to make the pie higher." G.W.

"I think we agree, the past is over." G.W.

We're close...thank God.

Michael said...

Pogo: Is this incessant whine of yours going to continue for the entire 8 years Obama is President?

The Exalted said...

"I believe man and fish can coexist peacefully"

TosaGuy said...

Micheal gets it exactly wrong when he compares Bush's grammatical and syntax errors for gaffes. Many other commenters on both sides actually provided insight. All Michael did was show us that he still suffers from BDS...which is now very passe'

veni vidi vici said...

"What do you think the impact of the three above examples would be if BO repeated them as President."

Dude, there were 4 examples you listed. Who do you think you are, Joe Biden?

veni vidi vici said...

"Title: Hindraker"

Perhaps a sequel to "Moonraker"? Or a remake, rather...

SteveR said...

Michael, when I told you the other night to step up your game, it was more than a criticism of your childish use of curse word filled name calling, but also about being more intelligent and relevant. And that doesn't mean more cutting and pasting.

Howard said...

I guess uranium in Niger and we will hunt him down and kill him are not considered gaffes by the chickenhawk crowd

SteveR said...

Uranium is Niger is only a gaffe to an idiot. Do you know what the word means?

Nichevo said...

WTF???/?

Blogger Howard said...

I guess uranium in Niger and we will hunt him down and kill him are not considered gaffes by the chickenhawk crowd
8:42 PM
Blogger SteveR said...

Uranium is Niger is only a gaffe to an idiot. Do you know what the word means?
8:51 PM

dualdiagnosis said...

Such a sensitive issue with libs, they see and portray conservatives as either stupid or evil (sometimes both) so Quayle reads from a teachers flash card and gets branded a dunce. Palin feels the heat, but it's Biden who can't keep it together and Obama forgets how many states there are with alarming frequency.

As someone else has said, this is a template that is used, and the idea that Obama will make many more gaffes than Bush ever has is unimaginable to the kos kids. Obama will, but it will be overllooked sympathetically.

Tom Grey said...

Did any of you even read what John (his choice of who it's by) wrote on the Powerline blog before the TPM quote?
It appears that Obama may have been careless again yesterday, with international consequences. He spoke with the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, on the telephone. Afterward, Kaczynski wrote that Obama "said that the missile-defense project would continue." The Obama camp then released a statement to the effect that Obama had said no such thing: "President Kaczynski raised missile defense but President-elect Obama made no commitment on it."

Obama's words seem to convey a meaning to others; others write about the relevant message they think they heard; Obama's camp denies what the others write.

It happens again and again. "Jerusalem will be undivided".
Free Trade.
Abortion.
Guns.
Now Missile Defense.

The main point of political communication with other leaders, is to let them know what you're planning to decide to do.

Obama has often failed, as measured by the back-tracking on policy he or his camp makes afterwards.

Bush, not so much.