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Teleprompter Wars

Oh, the stupidity.

1:08 PM, Feb 18, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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NBC's Mark Murray writes of Marco Rubio's speech at CPAC:

"The president couldn't find a teleprompter" to announce new tax increases, he added. (Ironically, Rubio uttered this line in front of two teleprompters, although it was unclear whether he was using them to deliver his speech.)

Actually, it was abundantly clear that Rubio had his speech written (in notes or long-form) on paper. I noticed because when he repeatedly looked down to turn the page, it broke his cadence. I'm really not sure why Rubio didn't use a teleprompter, and I thought the same thing when Sarah Palin delivered her Tea Party convention speech (her finest moment, after all, was delivering a teleprompter enabled speech at the RNC). If not using a teleprompter becomes some sort of authenticity test for real conservatives-- and it isn't clear that's why Rubio and Palin didn't use them in their speeches--well, that's just ridiculous.

Now, I love a good TOTUS joke as much as the next guy, but the joke is that Obama uses teleprompters obsessively, like for remarks to the press at a grade school. Obama has shown he can talk without them during his recent meeting with House Republicans. I saw Rubio deliver a speech without any notes, and he did just great; his cadence may have even been better because he wasn't looking down to turn pages every now and then. But it's perfectly fine to use teleprompters for formal remarks. They help the speaker keep his eyes on the audience, and Republicans shouldn't forgo this technology just because they like ribbing Obama about his reliance on them.

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