I’ve never considered Obama a very good speaker. It may be because he speaks slowly and pauses a lot, all of which drives my fast-talking-Italian-New-York-native self up a wall. Whatever the reason, my low opinion of his speaking ability meant that I was willing to believe that the Obama teleprompter gibes could very well be indicative of a real problem. Those jokes fed my fear that Obama lacked substance, that he was just a pretty voice able to dazzle people (though not me, apparently) with speeches he didn’t write or fully understand.
That fear was put to rest by Obama’s recent performance in front of a gathering of Republicans. No teleprompter, no questions received ahead of time, no softballs. I was amazed at how well he did when I read the transcript. When I watched the video, I still didn’t like his delivery (maybe I should have watched it at 1.5x) but it’s good to know that our president has a brain in his head.
That’s what was important to me regarding the teleprompter issue, and that’s why I care little about what Sarah Palin does unless it changes my existing opinion of her. Learning that she wrote notes on her hand before a speech doesn’t do that, and it sure as hell has no effect on what I think Obama’s use of the teleprompter does or doesn’t signify, regardless of which situation is more likely to resonate with the American people.