by guest contributor Philip Arthur Moore, originally published at TheThink
Why do I keep finding news articles about Barack Obama that conspicuously mention how “articulate” he is?
Reality check: ‘Barry’ Obama attended Columbia University, Harvard Law School, and was the first ever black American to be elected president of the Harvard Law Review. His educational biography is impressive, to say the least, and when he stormed into the national spotlight at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (part 1, part 2), we should have taken note of how “articulate” Obama was with the English language (his native language, by the way) and moved on. Instead, writers, taking adjectives from the same play book and arranging them just slightly differently, are harping on how well Barack Obama can speak about as much as they harp on how well George W. Bush mangles the English language (which, incidentally, is also his native tongue).
Take, for example, the following news snippets that have come out in the past several days alone:
“Barack Obama and the Pertinent Precedents” (Townhall.com, January 18, 2007):
The way in which he resembles George W. Bush — his thin resume — is not one that will help him. It may be cancelled out, though, by the ways in which he conspicuously contrasts with the outgoing president — notably, being thoughtful, articulate and seemingly open to opposing views. Bush is the commander in chief. But it’s Obama who gives the effortless impression of command.
“Much buzz, many questions over Barack Obama’s bid” (Christian Science Monitor, January 17, 2007):
But his biggest advantage could be his persona – young, attractive, articulate, a fresh face.
“Iowa Blogger Thrilled At Obama’s ‘08 Ambitions” (KCCI 8, January 17, 2007):
“We have someone in Obama who is a wonderfully articulate speaker, and we should never underestimate the importance of public officials being able to move people,” Goldford said. “The danger for somebody like Obama is: he rouses such high hopes. I mean, it’s the puppy love. The crush phase.
“Obama may find his newness both help and hindrance in campaign” (The Financial Express, January 18, 2007):
Obama’s appeal as an articulate, intellectual, multi-racial candidate prompted supporters such as fellow Illinois Senator Dick Durbin to urge him to run in 2008. So far, Obama’s easy-going charm is the only thing most voters know about him.