There goes another GOP talking point: Pres. Obama switches off his teleprompter

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Image via offthecuffstuff.com

I've written a few times about why teleprompters are a good thing. Please link over to read why they're not as terrible as the GOP hypocritically says they are... ahem:

I've never understood the fake outrage over using teleprompters. But okay, since it's something Republicans feel is so very important, here we go.

The Hill is reporting (and you may have noticed just by watching the president at campaign stops) that President Obama has been speaking more from notes (no, not on his hand) and less from the 'prompter. He's weaning himself off of the very thing that the GOP loves to pick on (so idiotically) as they continue to rely on them themselves.

Every time Willard M. Romney speaks extemporaneously, he finds himself YouTubed for at least one humiliating news cycle (how about them "chocolate goodies" folks?), so Republicans should be buying stock in and collecting millions in donations from Teleprompters Inc. instead of dissing them:

At recent campaign events in Pennsylvania, Virginia and again Monday in Ohio, Obama spoke to crowds in high school gymnasiums and at crowded outdoor events without his teleprompter, instead using written notes. [...]

Team Obama thinks the switch, or partial switch — the president is not giving up the teleprompter entirely — will help him better connect with voters.

He's right. Connecting with voters, using eye contact, directing attention at them as often as possible is the way to go. Audiences need that bond. However, notes are crucial to accuracy, and all that parsing by commentators keeps speakers on their toes.

A senior administration official acknowledged the shift in the president’s style, saying Obama is speaking “more extemporaneously.”

But the senior official said the lack of teleprompters has “less to do with image and more to do with upping the tempo” at campaign events, while creating more unscripted moments.

Not using a teleprompter lets Obama be more spontaneous on the stump. Since making the shift, the president at times has ad-libbed remarks while playing off his supporters’ reactions, something that had been difficult with a teleprompter.

Bam. It's all about communication, but unfortunately, every one of the president's words is scrutinized, and he does have to be precise with his message and careful not to say something he'll regret, as do Romney and any other public figures.  But at a rally or other more casual setting, teleprompters can seem too formal and restricting.

And from what I've seen, the president wins crowds over even more when he speaks off the cuff. So it's a win-win for him: He's more engaging and improvisational while at the same time eliminating one (rather juvenile) weapon that his opponents love to use against him.

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