A Crack in the Obama Facade

One of the greatest public speakers of all time was Winston Churchill. He had no teleprompter and normally practiced his speeches for at least 12 hours before ever stepping in front of an audience. President Obama, on the other hand, in his narcissistic need to be on TV at all hours day and night, can’t take the time to vet and rehearse every speech. Granted, he is usually quite smooth and convincing as he transmits flowing lines from the screen into oratory, but without the electronic crutch, or when it malfunctions, he quickly loses his renowned rhetorical magic.

Not only does Obama eschew the time and effort to practice and polish every presentation as Churchill did, he even went so far as to haughtily send the Churchill bust from the Oval Office back to the UK. Obama insulted generations of Englishmen and those of us in the US who revere the strength and iron will of the man. Perhaps the President might have missed a chance to learn from one of the masters.

No recent teleprompter malfunction approaches yesterday’s mispronunciation, three times no less, of the word “Corpsman.” To realize that the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States did not take the time or effort to learn to correctly pronounce the word just enhances the suspicion that he is nothing but an empty suit acting his way through a speech written by hacks and downloaded onto a screen. Pull back the curtain and observe the great Barack of Oz.

A “Corpsman” pronounced “Coreman” is the closest thing to divinity in human form on this earth. Affectionally known as “Doc,” Corpsmen are US Navy medical personnel that are embedded in Marine Infantry and other units and throughout the Navy. Corpsmen share their unique and dearly appreciated positions with Medics who serve the same purpose in the Army. Their job is to look after the health of servicemen and women during peacetime. As first responders on the battlefield, they rescue and treat the wounded at great personal risk to themselves.

Going into combat, the knowledge that a Corpsman will instantly put his life in dire peril to save an injured Marine is a bedrock morale support in times of the greatest test a human can ever face. Supreme confidence that the Corpsman is nearby with bandages, plasma, morphine and superhuman courage to administer them even under vicious enemy fire enhances the personal courage needed to close with and destroy the enemy. Knowing a Corpsman will selflessly drag one through a bullet-stitched rice paddy to safety at the severe risk to his own life is a supreme comfort in the heat of a firefight.

Of course anyone – even a president – can misspeak occasionally. George Bush elevated malapropism to a near art form. But, Obama was praising a Navy Corpsman for an especially commendable act. He was not just reading a list of military personnel and job descriptions. One would think that among all the inexperienced yes-men and sycophants in his inner circle, someone should know how to pronounce the word. Does Obama think the Marine Corps is also pronounced as it appears? What this minor verbal faux pas demonstrates is that the President’s addiction to the limelight is beginning to outdistance his support system. His exhibitionist tendencies have led to “too much Obama much too often.” Americans are going to get as sick of seeing him as they got of hearing “Hey Jude” ten million times.


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