On April 26, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano met the press to give an update on the Swine Flu outbreak. She clearly was reading from prepared notes (evidently TOTUS is reserved for PresBo only), and she still couldn’t manage to speak a complete sentence without a few “uh”s thrown in. In this, she is a worthy acolyte of a TOTUS-free Obama.
Skeptical? Take a look; by using Wordle, our favorite online tool, we can see that a picture is worth, well, in her case, 897 words:
In this, she outdoes her mentor. As you may recall, we parsed one of President Obama’s recent press conferences. In that instance, we took the answers he gave to his first three questions, ended up with a total of 910 words, 46 of which were “uh” or “um”, for a total of 5% null content.
In Sec. Napolitano’s briefing consisting of only 897 words, she managed to work in, by my count, 91 instances of “uh” or “um.” In other words, fully 10% of her speech was given to meaningless interjections. But pictures only go so far. To feel the real pain, watch the video. (You may have to turn your volume up a bit.)
Ouch. (Link to original presser here: start at 14:30.)
Now, I’m no public speaker. But didn’t Obama promise us a new era of politics with bright shiny smart people in high positions? People who should be able to speak for five minutes on a prepared subject without stumbling over every few words?
The one thing you can say about Napolitano: she makes Obama look good when he’s speaking extemporaneously.