Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy
In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.
Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama's appearance on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday witnessed the president-elect's unorthodox verbal tick, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth.
But Mr. Obama's decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring.
According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, some Americans might find it "alienating" to have a president who speaks English as if it were his first language.
"Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement," says Mr. Logsdon. "If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist."
The historian said that if Mr. Obama insists on using complete sentences in his speeches, the public may find itself saying, "Okay, subject, predicate, subject predicate -- we get it, stop showing off."
The president-elect's stubborn insistence on using complete sentences has already attracted a rebuke from one of his harshest critics, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.
"Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can't really do there, I think needing to do that isn't tapping into what Americans are needing also," she said.
Andy seems to cut off Gov. Palin, right before she said "and such." Here's the clip.
And Time Magazine appears to have ripped off the blog firedoglake (where Celtic Diva and I write occasionally), with a magazine cover depicting President-elect Barack Obama as FDR.
firedoglake printed a photoshopped image of FDR, behind the wheel of an automobile, with Obama's face in the place of Roosevelt's, back in September. Here's the firedoglake photo:
Here's Time Magazine's cover:Alaska bloggers are used to being ripped off from time to time by the local media, in similar ways. Dennis Zaki's excellent political photographs have been used time after time by a certain local paper, without attribution - let alone reimbursement. When Progressive Alaska once ran a great photo from an Anchorage Daily News article - with attribution - I started getting phone messages and e-mails from their watchdogs within seconds.
And, back in November, the ADN ran Ishmael Melville's now-famous photoshopped Sarah Palin without attribution. At least they didn't claim it was their own, eh?
image at top - by Ishmael Melville