Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Are Michelle Obama and Ann Romney for real?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) September 5th, 2012

I didn’t watch Ann’s speech, but I did watch Michelle’s and I thought she did a hell of a job. But I also thought she was a hell of an actress. And why not? Surely they receive a lot of training in how to deliver these speeches? They rehearse the applause lines. They know how to wait before going on. They know how to make eye contact with the audience. How to smile and look confident. They even know how to bring a tear to their eyes at moments of great pathos.

So that could all be real. But it could also be enhanced with presentation skills and practice. And if it is enhanced; if there is artifice to it, does that bother you at all? Do you notice it? Does it take away from the message? Or is that just condition normal for politics these days?

Personally, I think they are all so good, you can’t tell if they are real or not. I do a bit of performing, myself, and I know how to bring a tear to people’s eyes, or how to time a punch line. I know how not to be over the top so I don’t seem too practiced. I know how to roll with a mistake and how that humanizes me.

Am I being too cynical in seeing performance written all over this speech? Or is this just the way it is? Or are they really for real. Natural? No artifice?

And no matter what you think, does it even matter?

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17 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

Oratory is an art. It is necessarily a performance, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s when the rhetoric takes leave of reality that the problems begin.

jca's avatar

I think although one came from more of a humble beginning than the other, neither of them lead lives like average American citizens.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Personally I think they rehearse constantly just as if they were acting. For Romney this was a very important ‘act’ because he had to show his ‘every man’ personality and Ann had to humanize him.

For Obama, Michelle was focusing on her ‘husband’ rather than the President because he has drawn so much criticism for Presidential decisions so they’re focusing on the positive.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Show me a political figure who doesnt meet that description(or at least try to)

zenvelo's avatar

I applaud what @SavoirFaire said. They know how to make a speech.

The truth might be more carefully found in the transcripts. Michelle Obama’s speech is rated at a 12 grade level. Ann Romney’s was rated at a 5th grade level. (The President’s State of the Union Messages are at an 8th grade level.)

ucme's avatar

Ann Romney looks like the love child of a stepford wife & a dementia plagued zombie.

Cruiser's avatar

I do believe the emotions are real after all they are talking about their hubbies. I would rather they spoke from the heart than reading a speech off a teleprompter written by their staff writers.

Sunny2's avatar

Each is for real in her own way. Of course they are rehearsed. Would you give a speech that wasn’t? Particularly to such a large audience? They may have had help in preparing their speeches, but I suspect they also had veto power over what they said. it’s interesting how much more involved candidates’ wives have become. I think it’s due to the Women’s Movement. Women now expect to hear from the wives. I’m sure men couldn’t care less.

Roby's avatar

Ann is for sure.

Pazza's avatar

You can tell by the hand gestures if they’ve been coached.
UK politicians always give me a giggle with their hand gestures.

(I have a hand gesture for them too!.....)

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m pretty sure they are not robots.

filmfann's avatar

Ann Romney is too plastic. Michelle Obama was genuine.

woodcutter's avatar

It is a put on, and now…I’m not gonna vote for either.

Cruiser's avatar

Apparently Michelle is the hottie of the bunch as Bill Clinton just announced he would cherish Michelle as his wife. Sorry Ann…Bill has made his choice.

woodcutter's avatar

Bill Clinton just announced he would cherish Michelle as his wife. Bubba, Bubba ,Bubba. Did Barry hear that? There’s something wrong sounding there.
Michelle is pretty smokin though.

ETpro's avatar

I’m sure both studied and prepared as best they could. Both had professional coaches. It would be incredibly stupid or certifiably insane to walk onto such a national, prime-time stage not having done so. And neither woman got where she is by being insane or stupid.

Both told a compelling story of why they loved their man. And I truly think both spoke from the heart in that matter.

But Michelle’s story convinced me she and her husband understand where the average American lives, and Ann Romney failed in that. She told a maudlin story of her hard times as Mitt was struggling through college without ever admitting that his dad was a multimillionaire, and that had some impact on how hard he had it. It was just more alternate-universe from the GOP versus reality from Michelle Obama.

Seek's avatar

I’d applaud Michelle as my wife, too. She’s the hottest First Lady since Jackie-O, and no mistake.

And, everything that @ETpro and @SavoirFaire said. Public speaking is both art and science, and of course they were coached and trained. The reality lies between the lines. There’s a big difference between growing up with “a silver foot in your mouth” and being raised in a single parent lower-middle class household.

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