The instructions from his handlers preceding this speech must have gone something like this: OK, Mr. President, the teleprompters are ready. All you need to do is go out there and read the words that scroll up. And try using both teleprompters to make it look like you’re addressing everyone in the room. Don’t just stare at one of them like you’re reading an eye chart.
In other words, he had one job to do, and — well — I guess you know the rest. We’ve seen this same sad scenario play out so many times now. And the result is always the same: the omission of some words, the misreading of others, the slurring of still others.
In the speech that follows, he had an especially difficult time reading numbers, flubbing the same figure twice before finally getting it right — and that repeating it as if to show he had mastered it.
Take a look. A transcript follows the video.
America is getting vaccinated, job creation is soaring, ec— the economy is growing and our country is on the move again. But some of the parts of the ec— of our economy need special help. At the top of that list is our nation’s restaurants. When [missing word: the?] COVID-19 pandemic struck, our nation’s restaurants were some of the first hit and the worst hit. In 2020, more than two thousand three hun— excuse me, 2 million— 2.3 million restaurants — jobs disappeared. 2.3 million restaurant jobs disappeared. Restaurants are more than a major driver [slurred] of our economy. They’re woven [missing word] the fabric of our communities.
The question that keeps arising for me is when the rest of America will wake up to the reality that we have a president governing by rote. When will the media finally notice and report what is an inescapable reality?
I am not suggesting he doesn’t have his lucid moments. In fact, he probably functions normally the majority of the time. But there is no escaping the fact that even then he is functioning as a man pushing 80 who didn’t have that much on the ball when he was younger.