Obama's Boston lovefest

Boo Birds in the Hand Dept.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  June 27, 2012


I have always contended that Barack Obama is an inferior public speaker when compared to Deval Patrick, and I thought he demonstrated that truth again this week at a large fundraiser at Boston's Symphony Hall. The overlong (40 minutes), largely passionless argument for re-election borrowed heavily on the themes of Patrick's own 2010 re-election campaign, not to mention the fiery stump speech Patrick is crossing the country delivering in support of Obama. Obama's version is a pale, unfocused imitation.

Not that it mattered to the star-struck Democrats who paid good money to see the president in person Tuesday, and in many cases even more to get their picture taken with him backstage. Attendees I spoke with rated Obama's Symphony Hall speech anywhere between "inspiring" and "amazing." And it wasn't just the omnipresent bottles of Patch Block merlot talking.

For them, this was like a Rolling Stones concert, where the crowd goes berserk at the first strains of "Satisfaction" — in Obama's case, standing ovations at the mere mention of Planned Parenthood and women's health.

And he didn't even mention his newfound support for same-sex marriage, which might have actually brought down the 112-year-old roof. Nor did he tailor any remarks to the fact that he was in the state once run by his opponent Mitt Romney. I mean, these were people who were ready to go apeshit over their despised former governor, but Obama never really gave them the material.Instead, his throwaway local-acknowledgment line was to thank Boston for sending Kevin Youkilis to his beloved Chicago White Sox. This drew a crowd response that had national news media, Romney campaign personnel, and the White House press secretary debating whether it wasboos or chants of "Yooouk." I have polled about a dozen of the actual attending booers and/or Yoooukers, and it appears to have been a mixture of both — but in all cases, was just playful banter. This audience wouldn't have actually booed Obama. They were in the palm of his hand throughout.

Related: Menino's promise, No more Mr. Nice Council, Governor Fuzzy: Has Deval Patrick lost his edge — already?, More more >
  Topics: This Just In , Politics, Boston, Obama,  More more >
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