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?


  • BeckyJoie

    I agree. In the mental health field, run-on sentences can mean other things too. Of course, many have speculated about the president’s stability and some have suggested narcism is a part of his makeup. I don’t know about those things but I do know that he is suave and persuasive person who massages people’s ears with his words. Unfortunately, the words often seem either misleading or empty. The misleading ones are not empty but they have a double entendre. I think more than any time, we need to pray for our country and for the leaders to make wise decisions. We need to pray for those with power to stand for what is right. In addition, we can take hope that our Savior is soon coming to protect us from the horror that will ensue.

  • Kimberly

    Our children like to call out what logic fallacies are being used by different politicians. This president is great at Red Herrings. He talks about things that have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    One thing that none of these politicians are talking about is the real reason why so few get preventative care. I seriously doubt it is just a lack of insurance. Most people I know have insurance but still don’t go to the doctor because they work during the same hours the doctor has hours…it’s easier to just go to the ER when sick, especially when insured. This whole health care thing is very upsetting to me, as it is completely ridiculous. I don’t have health insurance, and frankly I’d rather have none at all than to steal from hardworking Americans to get it.

  • Lisa Buettner

    Wow, so that was technically one sentence? Why would he think anyone would trust a program from someone who can’t give a straight, simple answer to a simple question, or even look his audience in the eye? He never does, and because of those qualities, he loses all credibility. He often tries to incorporate some anecdote to engage our sympathies, but they sound flat and contrived to me. The Presidents I have known in my lifetime, from Reagan and on, had an element of genuine empathy in their demeanor. Whether I agreed with their politics or not, I can give them credit for loving our country and all its people. You can’t fake that, and with this President we have the negative proof. His attitude is cold and his constant rambling demonstrates that he’s not able to speak from his heart and project sincere sentiments for his fellow countrymen. I just love how his most often used catch phrase is “Let me be clear”. This guy has more clarity issues than a mud puddle.

  • Laura

    Jojo, Very well written and very powerful!

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