The blogosphere is afire with the controversy over Sarah Palin‘s palm. Photos and video of her from the recent Tea Party event showed quite clearly that she had written her talking points for her interview on her hand. Naturally, some folks on the left take this as yet more evidence of her general incompetence. Equally naturally, some folks on the right have blamed the liberal media and have rushed to her defense. I will endeavor to put the matter in perspective and draw some reasonable conclusions about the matter.
In her defense, relying on prompts and notes is all part of public speaking. As she has pointed out, Obama uses a teleprompter. So do most politicians who have access to them. When I teach, I make use of my own notes. When folks make business presentations they typically have notes or PowerPoint slides to refresh their memory and keep them on topic. While the fact that it is commonly done does not prove that it is acceptable, it does show that it would seem to be unfair to single Palin out for criticism.
That said, there are some grounds for legitimate criticism about her use of the cheat. First, there is the matter of when such notes should be used and what their use shows. It is reasonable to use notes when presenting a complex or long speech because it is rather challenging to keep that sort of information just in your mind. For example, I present lectures that are 50 minutes on up to two and a half hours about philosophy. While I do know the material, I need to make sure that I cover everything and hence using notes is reasonable. However, if I had to use notes to recall very basic and simple points, I probably should not be teaching. Likewise, if Palin cannot keep track of her most basic talking points (especially when she already knows the questions), then that seems to be grounds for concern.
Second, there is the nature of her approach. Writing notes on your skin doesn’t seem very professional. Also, she should have been aware that people would notice the writing-after all, she was waving her hand about and clearly looking at it. It seems rather odd that she would go to the trouble of writing notes in her palm to be secretive (after all, she could have just used a note card) and then just wave her hand around. Did she forget what was on her hand so quickly? Did she not know that it would show up very clearly? In any case, the event made her seem a bit silly and unprepared.
Third, there is the fact that she has criticized Obama about using a teleprompter and the fact that the Tea Party movement has a main point against scripted politicians. Presumably Palin was trying to look unscripted by hiding her script on her palm. Naturally, the fact that she does what she criticizes does not invalidate her criticism (that would be a fallacy). But, of course, it is poor tactics do do what you criticize in others and to go against a talking point of the movement you want to appeal to.
I have considered that perhaps Palin is more clever than folks give her credit for. After all, she has risen from relative obscurity to great success. While it is tempting to dismiss her as the political equivalent of Paris Hilton (being famous for being famous) perhaps this is a mistake. Her hand notes made the news in a big way and got her national media coverage. Also, when the media folks and the liberal bloggers take shots at her, this seems to merely make her base love her even more.
The teleprompter criticism is something I don’t get. Even the most rabid tea-partier must understand that it is impossible to memorize an 80 minute speech. Every president has used the teleprompter since its invention.
If I was a Republican I would be insulted by being condescended to with such a weak talking point. If this does get traction it is disconcerting to say the least — as if the flimsiest of criticism could seem valid were it repeated enough.
The notes aren’t a concern — but, the fact that she wrote them on her HAND is so unprofessional– for someone who was probably paid $100,000 to be there.
The anti-teleprompter thing I view as a peculiarly reborn conservative ‘concern’. As Sarah might say ‘it’s too ‘twenty-first centuryish-y’. Too adult.Preferred is the grade school answer in the palm technique.’Words is on the glass screen.But I can’t see’em from my side!. Must be the devil’s work.’ But not so surprisingly no problem when Bush used it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleprompter#Speeches
T. J. Babson says
Believe it or not, this is an international story. Who else could make headlines around the world by scribbling a few words in her palm? Score one for SP.
Like a second grader. Any attention is good attention.
T. J. Babson says
You guys assume she wants to be president. What if she just wants to be rich?
T. J. Babson says
She sends the left into paroxysms and she is laughing all the way to the bank.
I think she has the basic character of a milf stuck in second-grade. If I assumed she wanted to be president I’d be assuming she’s an even bigger dope than I think she is.And that the American voting public is even more gullible than I think it is. I could be wrong on both counts. Or not.
T. J. Babson says
This could explain the Left’s obsession with SP:
They also want a “leader” of the Tea Party movement so that they can destroy that person. This is from the play book of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals:
RULE 13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
By this I mean that in a complex, interrelated, urban society, it becomes increasingly difficult to single out who is to blame for any particular evil… Obviously, there is no point to tactics unless one has a target upon which to center the attacks.
Once they have a fallible human target they can destroy that person, and thus destroy the movement. That’s the game plan. They will not come out and say they want the destruction of the U.S. Constitution, so it’s very important for the media, Democrats and the American left to get a name and face attached to the Tea Party movement.
How about some ‘names and faces’ attached to Republican hypocrisy? Fun video here. A sickening litany of two-faced, power-clutching bozos. http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/2/10/835634/-Rachel-Maddow-Dissection-of-GOPMUST-SEE I haven’t watched the second vid yet. Literally haven’t had the stomach to. Still wiping the vomit off my chin after watching the first.
Oh.BTW This is the same Republican Party that the Tea Partiers ‘are smart enough to know represents a return to the Constitution right now’.:) “We the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more hypocritical union, establish hypocrisy, insure domestic hypocrisy, provide for the common defense of hypocrisy,promote general hypocrisy,and insure the blessings of hypocrisy to ourselves and our posterity. . .
“Writing notes on your skin doesn’t seem very professional.”
Did you really write that, Mike? That seems so petty. Your sexual attraction towards Palin is clouding your judgement. Just admit she has nice legs and is nicer than Hillary and be done with it.
I’m a professional briefer. I give speeches. I’d write on my skin in a second if it helped. I’m an intelligence analyst, and I have to stand in front of large groups of army officers whose uniforms carry more brass than an Apache gunship.
And virtually every professional briefer is trained to use notes and cards. Sure, we use lots of Powerpoint. But Powerpoint bullets are to emphasize major issues, while notes would be for details about the major issues.
Is that the same as a teleprompter? Come on. A teleprompter uses tells the speaker EVERY SINGLE WORD of his speech. The battle commander would quickly give me the hook were I to use a teleprompter in a briefing. For one thing, he can and will ask questions on my briefing issues, and I’d better know my subject well enough to answer. The telepromter won’t give me answers. A teleprompter tells me that someone doesn’t know their subject very well. That he or she is relying on the slickness of the speech over the substance.
Then there’s AKA’s hateful rhetoric–perfectly normal as far as I can see from the tofu eating left:
“I think she has the basic character of a milf stuck in second-grade. If I assumed she wanted to be president I’d be assuming she’s an even bigger dope than I think she is”
They have the “utmost respect” for blacks and women–until they dissent with the party line. Read: Democrat line. Then you become Clarence Thomas or Sarah Palin. But thanks for reminding me every day why I think the Republicans are less wrong than Democrats. The biggest one being that the ranks of Dem voters seems to be filled with people who think good things come from nowhere (or everywhere) and that shoving a blade in the back of your country when things go bad is the way to go. They aren’t even happy when the win and have almost complete control. They just whine.
My word I think every one of these honor sucking vampires should haveo be in the Marine Corps for 2 years. Seriously. Want free college? Join the f***ing Marines. Earn your Freedom and Free Stuff.
Physical danger and difficulty are vastly under rated in modern day. They truly do make you better and less whiny. Less Democrat I mean.
You’re an intelligence analyst. Very focused in on language and the meanings of words and phrases. I’d assume.Analyze this. ‘They have the “utmost respect” for blacks and women–until they dissent with the party line.’ So. What do those quotation marks around the words utmost respect imply? That I/we shouldn’t criticize SP? If we do I/we don’t respect women? Put it another way. Let’s assume Sarah disagreed with your party line.Would you state your disagreement with her? If so, would you do it respectfully? I’ve read you descriptions of liberals and Palin on this blog. Here’s you 7/5/2009 at Palin and Socrates “You’re all a bunch of Moonbats. Get a life and a woman as hot as Palin and you’ll feel better.” Oh the wonders of Google Reader. I say milf you say hot. You want me to believe you’d be much more respectful with Palin. If you disagreed with her. Because she’s a woman? Pshaww. So what’s your logical intelligent conclusion?? In your world. I disagreed with your selective interpretation of an article? So I must hate meat. I’m a tofu eater? Let me rhyme it for you. I said before I’m a carnivore. I respect women. It may surprise you that I respect Clarence Thomas no less than I respect Samuel Alito. 🙂 Hell there may even be a RepCon I can respect if he’d come out and admit to the Rep hypocrisy demonstrated in the vid I provided. And to other hypocrisy I’ve outlined in ‘Republicans’. I don’t know what brand of ‘conclusion-jumpey-labely stuff’ (as SP might call it) you use. But next time use the unscented kind. BTW Just ignore Obama’s evisceration of Republicans in Maryland using no notes at all. While his questioners read off their note cards. .
Michael LaBossiere says
I did write that. While what counts as professional appearance is subject to a high degree of subjectivity, writing notes on your skin certainly seems less professional than using a note card. But, perhaps this is a mere bias on my part because I associate that mostly with students trying to cheat on tests.
While I do understand why politicians use teleprompters (after all, I use notes) and speech writers, I would much prefer that they would actually write their own words. After all, if I were just reading lectures written by someone else, I’d not be a professor but a parrot.
T. J. Babson says
SP knows exactly what she is doing. I see a lot of construction workers and blue collar types writing notes on their hands. She is connecting with them, and the over-the-top response from the Left makes them love her even more.
Michael LaBossiere says
She is also connecting to some athletes. I know runners and triathletes who mark their pace goals on their skin, so perhaps Sarah does that as well. She is a runner after all.
Yes. I’m hearing that more and more from tea partiers. A familiar refrain. Echoes of the George Bush era. Who’s the famous person you would most like to sit down and share a beer with? In 04 it was Bush. He was a ‘real person’. Like the ‘real Americans’ Sarah refers to.The ones who write notes on their hands. You know, the ones who agree with her. In O9 polldaddy didn’t even include Bush. Sarah won by a landslide. Deja vu again. And the public Madison and Hamilton described will never see it coming.
“That I/we shouldn’t criticize SP?”
Nope. But maybe you should have some class.
I disagree with many of Obama’s beliefs. I’ve never called him stupid, a nazi, or even a communist. I’venever used racial slurs or derogatory names or even made fun of his ears.
Class is class is class I guess. Labeling is labeling. Moonbats are moonbats but that’s not a derogatory name. 🙂 You think? Tofu-eater isn’t labeling I guess. My conclusion- wingnuts truly are wingnuts. Milfs are hot women if you believe the Urban Dictionary. So we’re even. You say potato and I’ll say potato. On the other hand if you say shit I’ll say shithead. . Our first interchange came on 1/14 5:54. A few days after I started here. I had just posted to kernunos. The second word off your keyboard was ‘moonbats’. Then complaining I had mentioned Palin. The sum total of your contribution in responses to that article. And I quote. “No Moonbat can have a political conversation without speaking of Srah Palin. Defensive from the outset.” A labeler from the outset. Classy classy act. Black pot calling the white kettle black. You want to go back to square one? I can do that. Start over. You act civil first this time.Generally I’m as classy as the person I’m communicating with.
This whole teleprompter issue started with Republicans. I wonder -how many more Rep asses will have to be bitten before this ‘non-issue’ dies?
This whole teleprompter issue started with– Republicans. I wonder.How many more Rep asses will have to be bitten before this ‘non-issue’ dies?