Skip to comments.What Happens When Politicians Get Acting Coaches
Posted on 10/13/2012 6:16:07 AM PDT by Kaslin
Egads, that was awful. And I do mean awful. Joe Bidens constant laughing throughout the debate beyond being annoying, rude, and unprofessional was obviously coached. We see this in the legal profession with some frequency: litigators who hire coaches to help them act for the jury, in the hopes that the jurors will be swayed by the Academy Award-winning performance, and ignore the evidence. (Or lack thereof.)
Its already in the annals of campaign debate lore that Naomi Wolf coached Al Gore about how to act like an alpha male and dress in earth tones during his debates against George W. Bush. And we know how that worked out for him. (Obviously investments were a better career choice than politics.)
Apparently, Joe Biden decided to take a leaf out of the same book. And with the same embarrassing results. One can just hear the conversation taking place prior to the Vice Presidential debate Thursday night:
Acting coach: OK, so the point is to make your opponent look small, young, silly. You want to belittle him. Everyone knows that humor is much more effective than criticism. So we want you to laugh at Paul Ryan every chance you get.
Joe B: You want me to laugh at him?
Joe B: What if the topic is Libya? Our ambassador was murdered in Libya. Three other American diplomatic workers were killed. There are congressional hearings about intelligence lapses even as we speak. Ive got decades of foreign policy experience; shouldnt I display gravitas?
Coach: Cmon, this is the American public were talking about. They watch shows with laugh tracks all the time. If you laugh, theyll think its funny. Laugh at it.
Joe B: What about the economy? 23 million people are out of work. The unemployment rate is still at 8%. Nobody believes those lower job numbers from last week, and it doesnt help that they left out the largest state in the country when they reported them. Ryan is going to emphasize their plans for economic recovery. I should laugh?
Coach: You bet. We want you to laugh.
Joe B: I know Martha Raddatz is going to bring up spending, and the national debt. Ryans a numbers guy, an economics wonk. Hes going to hit his talking points hard here.
Coach: Who cares? Let Ryan have talking points. You have punch lines! We want you to laugh. Oh, and interrupt him. And the moderator.
Joe B: But if I laugh and interrupt throughout the entire debate, wont I look boorish? Unprofessional? Stupid?
Coach: Dude, youve been here for the last four years, right? Thats the point! Youre the comic foil. You make the Presidents otherwise inexplicable silence last week look like presidential restraint by comparison. Were pros, and highly-paid consultants! We know what were talking about. And anyway, were not telling you to laugh the same way every time; shake it up a little: Chuckle. Snort. Smirk. Grimace. Giggle. Guffaw. Chortle. Slap the table. Throw your hands in the air. Double over. Shake your head in amused disbelief.
Joe B: I dont know .
Coach: Oh, and flash your teeth. As often as possible. You know the old saying: if you cant baffle them with brilliance, dazzle them with dental work.
Joe B: They say that?
Coach: Of course.
Politicians who take this tack think that voters are just as stupid and easily distracted as litigators-turned-circus-performers think juries are. And they are just as wrong.
Its no wonder that the folks behind the scenes in the Obama administration pull this kind of stunt and call it debate prep. It reflects the same ignorance that people who have no experience with business often say about marketing: its all about deceiving people into buying something they otherwise wouldnt. Does it surprise anyone that an administration that displays such consistent ignorance about business would take this approach?
In business, marketing takes a strong product or service, and emphasizes the best qualities to the consumer. A great product can be tanked by lousy marketing, its true. But a lousy product can only be propped up so long by glitzy marketing. You might make the sale once. Maybe twice. But eventually, the consumer figures out that poor quality is the rule, not the exception. And then youre finished.
The Obama campaign ran in 2008 on slick packaging, glitzy marketing, and distraction. That worked. Four years later, American consumers have had ample opportunity to look inside the box and see whats in it
In 2012, Obama and Biden cannot run on marketing. And they cannot use acting coaches to sway the jury; American voters are paying attention. The failures of Obamas economic policies are everywhere we look. Economic growth is limp. Job growth is nearly non-existent. Unemployment is persistently high, with rates dropping only because people stop looking for jobs. Businesses large and small avoid expansion and other growth decisions, deterred by the uncertainties associated with new regulations, fees and costs that the Obama administration threatens, in health care, in environmental matters, and in taxes.
And, as Paul Ryan pointed out Thursday night, the presidents foreign policy such as it is is unraveling right before our eyes. Even while we can switch channels and listen to testimony before Congress about the calls for more security in Libya, the warnings of deteriorating conditions on the ground, and the immediate knowledge of a terrorist attack, Joe Biden thinks he can bluff and bluster and pretend that the administration has not failed its diplomatic staff and tried to cover up those failures by deceiving the American public.
No amount of maniacal laughter, and no amount of coaching, is going to distract the majority of American voters from these realities.
That neither Obama nor Biden can see it, is whats laughable.
That's only for Bob Dole, and he earned and deserved "The Pen"
You get the “Kings Speech”.
I don’t know I thought Joe was just being his, I am royalty the rest of you are peons and just his arrogant self
Apparently many haven’t observed Biden over the years. To me it’s pretty much what he’s displayed all along.
That seems to be the trouble, they really did ‘Let Joe be Joe’.
That there is the nail on the head.
Evil can not stand for long. It naturally will spin itself out. Thank God.
Apparently, Plugs’ acting coach previously coached Cheech and Chong.
There is nothing so difficult to coach as the appearance of sincerity. Most people can spot a phony who doesn’t believe what he’s saying because its a lie.
A friend of mine once got stuck in a venue where he had to stand and wait until Biden was done "electioneering," and this friend came away liking Joe a lot less than he already did(n't). He got such a kick out of how "Mr. I'm a Senator" was unable to keep from being a condescending smart-ass even while he was pandering.
This same individual and I howled over over Biden's imbecilic "Hey boss..." haranguing of Condoleeza Rice. Yep, Joe has long been a jackass with a nasty streak that runs nearly all the way through, but just because he drops a malaprop now and then doesn't mean he's harmless.
Yeah, he has that lunchpail speech for the workers down pretty good. Most can see right through it with the attacks on those who pay for those workers.
Pray for America
Listening to what Britt Hume had to say, Smirk’n Joe is really a nice guy who would give you the shirt on his back.
Now we know who Britt Hume is.
I get the impression that the rats (from the VP down) are abandoning a sinking ship and doing their best to speed it’s demise while trying to preserve their own interests at the same time.
People are missing this - it lowers the bar for how rude, boorish, and being a total asshole that Zero canbe next time.
There should be a law against coaching for pols. In the brilliant Brecht play “The Irresistable Rise of Arturo Ui,” a Hitler character is coached by a famed German actor with disasterious results.
I was lucky enough to see a production with Al Pacino as Arturo Ui and an amazing Tony Randall as his creepy acting instructor. The outcome was not good for Charles Durning...
“Smirkn Joe is really a nice guy who would give you the shirt on his back.”
No, Smirkin’ Joe will give you the shirt off MY back!
As I watched Biden perform in the debate I was struck by an obvious incongruity.
His mouth was smiling or laughing, but as he was ending his smile/laugh I noticed that his eyes were sending the message that, “I’m scared and unsure.”
Biden was following his coaches instructions but in his heart he knew that he was screwing the pooch.
If you are having a conversation with a person and interrupt them, you are disrespecting only them. However, if you interrupt someone who is speaking to OTHERS, and the others are trying to listen to that person, you are, in effect, interrupting THEIR listening, and being rude to THEM. Somehow Biden and his minions don’t know this rather obvious fact. This is why people are upset. Biden disrespected them, similar to when you are at a movie, trying to follow the plot and someone in the audience keeps talking over the dialogue and making comments.
You saw a Bertolt Brecht play? And you kept your sanity? You should run for President. Anybody tough enough to sit through Bertolt Brecht would get my vote.