The first lady’s Democratic convention speech last night in Charlotte has been showered with praise from both the left and the right. Still, the uncharacteristic stutter that came through didn’t go unnoticed.
Some examples of the stammering:
- “And-and-and as I got to know Barack, I realized…”
- “And we were taught to-to value everyone’s contribution….”
- “That’s who we are. And-and standing before you four years ago…”
- “Being president doesn’t change who you are. No, it-it reveals who you are…”
TIME‘s White House Correspondent Michael Scherer tweeted, “Michelle Obama’s rhetorical style leans on the intentionally stuttered word.”
Similarly, New York magazine editor Dan Amira said, “Michelle Obama’s speech would have been better if she didn’t fake-stutter every sentence for dramatic effect.”
Going balls to the wall, TWT columnist Mary Beth Hicks tweeted, “The stuttering is SO EFFING FAKE.” And Twitter personality Gourmet Spud concurred, asserting, “Michelle Obama is a great speaker, but she uses that annoying fake-stutter-at-start-of-sentence way too much.”
The biggest authority on the subject came from Rosemary Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association. “Only thing I don’t like about Mrs. Obama’s speaking style: the deliberate little stutter,” she said on Twitter.
Brad Phillips, editor of the Mr. Media Training blog, told FishbowlDC he didn’t notice the stutter. “I did notice that she uses the same transitions numerous times (“you see,” “see”),” Phillips said in an email, “but based on the deservedly glowing reviews of her speech, I suspect few people noticed those moments.”
He added, “It comes down to this. If most people in your audience don’t see a problem, there probably isn’t one.”
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