From watching the audience pans during the telecast and then looking at stills, the problem with Obama’s Afghan escalation speech was evident in the room. Between the distractibility of the cadets, the flat expressions and the cocked heads, Obama’s description and rationale for the surge didn’t engage the audience — being those with the most on the line.
It’s either that … or what we’re seeing from these kids is anxiety and the look of fear.
Anyway, I thought that rather than retreating behind a military audience, which is where Bush ended up living for most of the last two years of his second term, “being the change” — if Obama really thought his rationale would hold up — would have dictated taking this speech to Peoria — or better, back to Elkhart.
(8:45 pm – slightly revised)
(photos: Chris Hondros/Getty Images. Caption: Cadets watch U.S. President Barack Obama speak in Eisenhower Hall at the United States Military Academy at West Point December 1, 2009 in West Point, New York. President Obama delivered a crucial speech at the renowned military academy, during which he outlined his plan to send tens of thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan over the next six months, before transitioning forces out of the country beginning in 2011.)