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Obama's Speech Hit Its Intended Target, Stupid

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs bunched up his panties and scolded a questioner who had the temerity to seek reaction to the criticism his boss was receiving on some unlikely cable-news outlets after his address to the nation Tuesday night.

"I appreciate the hand on the pulse of America by those who live on cable TV," Gibbs puffed. "I don't actually think that is where all of real America lives."

Gibbs did not expound on where he thought "all of real America" lived, but I hoped some light might be shed on these mysterious Americans when I came across this story atop CNN's website this morning.

Headline: "Language guru: Obama speech too 'professorial' for his target audience."

"Ah, so that's it," I thought before diving into the story. "Our president is once again making the massive mistake of confusing "real" Americans with smart Americans."

Good golly, he's made this blunder before, and been roundly criticized for it, and Gibbs should know this.

When will he ever learn that the last thing we want from our presidents these days is to flaunt any signs of intelligence. How the heck did he think George W. got re-elected anyway?!

Thing is, I watched the speech for a second time after seeing this headline, and once again didn't think it was very smart at all. For one thing, I thought his delivery was more choppy than usual. For another, it was hardly substantive, and offered way too many veiled specifics, threats and promises. It also came at least a day late and a billion dollars short. The oil leak is now into its eighth week.

There was nothing professorial, or good about it that I could see.

For the moments before I read the CNN story, I was forced to look at living the life of a fake American as defined by Gibbs. I just wasn't one of the bottom-feeders his boss was seeking out, I guess. Go figure.

So I went ahead and read the story, even if it seemed to have Obama's pedestrian speech all wrong.

The first two paragraphs are jaw-droppers:

(CNN) -- President Obama's speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday.
Tuesday night's speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. The Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.

Go ahead, re-read that. I'll wait.

Yep, it is actually feared by some that when our presidents give speeches that barely exceed middle-school levels they are losing most of us. Turns out the "real Americans" Obama was trying to reach needed only a 10th-grade education to follow what it was he was saying.

Geesh, I think he did great in that regard! Gibbs was right!

The story goes onto cite this passage as an example of his "professorial" prose:

"That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's secretary of energy."

Hey, take heart. If you understood that, you most likely are one of Gibbs' "real Americans," and too darn smart to be our president.

(Got a tip, a gripe, or some kudos? Send 'em along.)