President Obama's Health Care Rhetoric is Telling

I've said this here on Communication FUNdamentals before.  President Obama is an accomplished speaker when he delivers a prepared speech.  However, when he speaks off the cuff, he tends to get a little flustered.  When answering or even anticipating tough questions, the President has been side tracked and even stuck his foot in his mouth.  In fact, there are several websites that are now tracking his miscommunication. Though his health care bill has already passed, so many Americans are unhappy with it that the President feels the need to 'sell it' to the people after the fact.  According to several articles, President Obama has been talking in circles.  This article reports his record-setting run on sentence which I feel is very telling. Here is an excerpt from a recent speech: "A lot of people have asked, why is it you seem so calm? And what I’ve tried to say often -- and a lot of times this gets discounted in the press -- is that the experience of having traveled throughout this country; having learned the stories of ordinary folks who are doing extraordinary things in their communities, in their neighborhoods; having met all the people who put so much energy and effort into our campaign; having seen the ups and downs and having seen how Washington was always the last to get what was going on, always the last to get the news -- what that told me was that if we were willing to not do what was expedient, and not do what was convenient, and not try to govern based on the polls today or tomorrow or the next day, but rather based on a vision for how we can rebuild this country in a way that works for everybody -- if we are focused on making sure that there are ladders of opportunity for people to continue to strive and achieve the American Dream and that that’s accessible to all, not just some -- if we kept our eye on what sort of future do we want for our kids and our grandkids so that 20 years from now and 30 years from now people look back on this generation the way we look back on the Greatest Generation and say to ourselves, boy, they made some tough decisions, they got through some tough times, but, look, we now have a clean energy economy; look, our schools are revitalized; look, our health care system works for every single American -- imagine how tough that was and how much resistance they met from the special interests, but they were still willing to do it -- if that was how we governed, then I figure that the politics would take care of itself." When a person speaks in circles using run on sentences with convoluted and unclear thoughts, it is usually because they are not sure what to say.  I think the President is finding it difficult to sell this to the American people because he knows this is not what they wanted.  He's always known.  There are no words to placate the American people after having gone against their will. President Obama has been saying that the only reason the American people are upset with the health care bill was because they didn't understand it.  That is now proving to be an incorrect assessment.  Nobody knew exactly what was in the bill.  Most of the politicians hadn't read it before they voted on it!  However, I don't believe it is the details of the bill that are in dispute between the people and the government.  It is the spirit of the bill and the outcome. It is quite apparent that the President has no words to placate the people, not because they do not understand what it means, but precisely because they do.  Further, according to current surveys, it is not just the bill that they disagree with, but the way in which it was passed.  According to these surveys, this President campaigned on transparency in government, but the American people see back door deals and a complete disregard for freedom, the Constitution, and the will of the people. What say you?


  • Kathy

    For me, it’s many things. I don’t like the way any of it has been handled. I don’t like the thought of the government having control over my health. I don’t like many of the things I’ve heard about what this health care bill could mean; such as higher taxes to pay for those that don’t pay, etc. It’s scary.

  • cna training

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  • jojosblog

    Here is another report of the President’s convoluted response to a direct question:

    When a member of the audience asked if it was a wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care package stating, “We are overtaxed as it is.”

    “He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze. His discursive answer — more than 2,500 words long — wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, “F-Map”). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as “FICA”).”

  • jojosblog

    Thanks so much for your input everyone!

  • cindy holman

    Communication is so important – as you well know. Thanks for the great insightful article, JoJo!

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