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Thomas Friedman Says GOP Looking for Someone as 'Smart and Mellifluous' as Obama

Tim Graham's picture

Appearing on Sunday’s Meet the Press, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman brought his usual lecturer’s arrogance and said he was really worried about President Obama’s chances at re-election: “I really, really worry about him.” The answer, of course, is more “stimulus” and increased spending on overpriced college tuitions: “I really hope he gives us a big choice.”

Friedman also said the Republicans are looking for someone who can be as smart and “mellifluous” as Obama: “And I think Newt's rise is speaking to us. And what it says to me is, is that I think there's a lot of Republicans who are starved for a candidate for their party who would be able to debate Obama head-to-head, they think is as smart and mellifluous as the president.

Friedman thinks the secret to unlocking the economy is always more spending, which will make the Dow Jones index skyrocket:

FRIEDMAN: But the other point I want to make, just to wrap up and react to my colleagues here, is that, as, as bad as things are, what's really sad is that with just a few big political decisions, we could be on a whole different track, okay? If, you know, President Obama and the Republican leadership could agree, to me, on just two things – one is a small stimulus bill focused on getting more young people through vocational school and, and four years or two years of college education, an infrastructure for our cities, and then for me Simpson-Bowles, a long-term fiscal plan to resolve our problem – I think you'd see the stock market go up 1,000 points, you'd unlock enormous amount of investment here. Companies would hire again. I think the country today it not only is economically down, but it's emotionally depressed. We feel like we're children of permanently divorcing parents; and, in this environment, a lot of people just are holding back.

“Meet the Press” host David Gregory asked “are we as a country going to have to react to chaos, or are we going to react strategically to threats and opportunities posed by China?”Friedman found Obama too successful at Bush’s foreign policy:

FRIEDMAN: And it's ironic, I think, what--again, if you're writing the book today, you'd say, "How interesting. Barack Obama has been much better at fulfilling George Bush's national security policy than his own foreign policy." Now, why do I say that? I think he's, he's really finished the war in Iraq, and he's prosecuted the war against--on terrorism I think really smartly and effectively. But these other issues that, that Marc has raised--how do we deal with China? How do we manage Asia? How do we deal with rising, you know, powers from India to Brazil--those all depend on domestic strength. You can lecture China all you want, but if you don't have a savings rate and they're sitting on $3 trillion of your money, you can lecture the Middle East all you want, but if you're addicted to oil. See, all of these things now that are--we consider foreign policy in how we manage the world, what they really depend on is totally different domestic politics, and, and we're not there yet as a country. Certainly not Obama's fault, you know, entirely.

That last utterance was Friedman realizing he was a little too anti-Obama as he ran down the currently compromised standing of the United States. Gregory and Friedman also worried about ObamaCare and how he can convince the American public it should not be repealed:

GREGORY: But is the president going to communicate this, Tom, as his story, that he was able to bring greater, you know, financial security through delivering health care acts as to so many Americans, no longer will preconditions be an issue to forcing denial of coverage? Can he tell that story in the course of the campaign?

FRIEDMAN: I don't know if he can tell that story anymore. I mean, I, I, I really, really worry about him. I'm sure he will tell a story and there'll be lots of parts to it. But does he have a narrative about where we are today in the world, connecting it up in what we want and need, speaking frankly to people and honestly? I go back to where we started this conversation. We're in a different time. The advantages America had coming out of World War II, a world of walls, we stood astride the world, and we kind of got through a long period by having--creating a housing bubble. Those days are over. You want the American dream now, David, it takes homework times two. I wish it wasn't that way but it is. And we ought to start the conversation there.

MARK MORIAL, former Mayor of New Orleans: But I think the, the important thing about an election is an election is about a choice. So it's not just going to be President Obama, it's going to be President Obama and a countervailing vision, a countervailing set of ideas, a countervailing set of proposals.

FRIEDMAN: I hope he gives us a big choice. I really hope he gives us a big choice.

Friedman suggested to Obama “Surprise us....Wake up one morning, pick up the paper and say, ‘Wow. Barack Obama, he just took such a political risk. You know, if he took that risk, I'd like to take a risk, too, and get behind him.’”


#1 I'm not going to say that Boy

I'm not going to say that Boy Barry is stupid, because he's been doing what he set about to do - with a lot of help from his willing accomplices in the MSM, ignorant voters, fellow travelers in Congress and in the REGIME, as well as gutless Republicans who won't stand up to him..............but I will say that 'smart' is one of those modern-day liberal 'redefined' terms...........because the traditional version of 'smart' would be hard to pin on Boy BlahBlah.

As far as being 'mellifluous'??? I'd say the guy is one of the most stammering, stuttering, ooooohing and ahhhing boring-ass speakers that I've ever heard - with OR without the teleprompter. He's an instant cure for insomnia - if you can keep from kicking your TV set first!!!

#2 I would say Odumbo is stupid.

I would say Odumbo is stupid. Why else would he be hiding his school records?

It's his handlers I would be worried about.

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." President Ronald Reagan

#3 I too want to see his

I too want to see his records.

Nuke em til they glow; then shoot em in the dark

#4 Listen, guys..........we ALL

Listen, guys..........we ALL know that Boy Blunder ISN'T the sharpest knife in the drawer, and the he has an average IQ - at best. I think he's proven that many many times, and conintues to do so on a regular basis when he is speaking 'off the cuff'. But that is why I qualified my 'smart' comment - it's been totally redefined to work in this criteria. And...........he IS sitting up there in the White House - as our President (remember those bumper stickers about Bush - 'he's not MY President???') - and he being quite successfull at imposing his agenda on us and our country - smart, stupid, or any point inbetween. That's all I was gettting at.

As for the 'mellifluous' statement - I can't stand listening to this guy - and I couldn't even do it when he first burst on the scene!!!
I was just wonderin' where the hell this poser got such a phony accent, and why he couldn't just 'talk' without having to read something.............and he's boring as hell when he's being 'mellifluous' anyway.

#5 Phony accent

Which one, the one where he sounds like a black preacher or the one where he sounds like a harvard professor? I agree, have to mute or switch channels when I see he's about to speak. As far as intelligence, he may be above average but we don't have any proof of that. What I suspect, is what he let slip the other day and that he's just plain lazy, and probably had something like a 2.5 GPA...not horrible but certainly not impressive either. Could be even worse, but you can bet if it was anything above 3.5 would definitely know about it!

#6 Smart AND Mellifluous?

Yeah. He really demonstrates that a Lot!

President Obama is a Muslim (from his own lips), Kenyan (read it from his publicist) a homosexual (read it on a news magazine cover) and a Socialist (I'm alive and can see it for myself)

#7 How about someone smarter and

How about someone smarter and sincere?

#8 Smart??

My 5 year old grandson knows there are 50 states and does not make fun of the Special Needs Children and Their Olympic Games. Now, that is smart.

#9 I want a LOT more as a President

How about the following:

  • Someone who has done something more than being a "community organizer"
  • Someone who explains what he wants to accomplish, and not just mouths "Hope" and "Change"
  • Someone who will speak consistently; that does not go to SF and bash middle America as "bitter clingers" and then try to show middle America that he is religious and a gun nut
  • Someone who knows how to reach out, not tell the Republicans "elections have consequences".

In short, everything that Obama ISN'T.  And Friedman, if you think you are such a Republican sympathizer, try saying "no tax increases" ten times, REALLY FAST.

“Liberals tend to put the onus of your success on society and conservatives on you and your family.”

Dennis Prager

#10 "I'd like to get behind him, take a risk.."

Already have taken a risk getting behind him. Do you know what these OWS tent cities are? They are Obamavilles, just like FDR had Hoovervilles. They are what the average person will be able to afford after another 4 years. We will have to change our name to the United States of Zimbabwe, because I think I see a very similar vision between Obama and Robert Mugabe. And we have seen in South Africa what that vision gave; run-away inflation and going from a net exporter to a net importer of food as two examples of what happens when you make a "community organizer" your President.

“Liberals tend to put the onus of your success on society and conservatives on you and your family.”

Dennis Prager

#11 I really like to camp and I

I really like to camp and I want to dump my house.

Nuke em til they glow; then shoot em in the dark

#12 "as smart and “mellifluous” as Obama"

Too bad Adolph Hitler, Joe Stalin and Fidel Castro ain't available.

Maybe Georgie Soros can build a sock puppet for the Republican party!

Comrade Bubba

#13 Obama is inot stupid but he

Obama is inot stupid but he is lazy, shiftless ignorant and depends upon an army of behind the scenes white guys to prop him up. Left to his own devices he would be getting Bill his coffee while attempting to steal the silverware.

Non, je ne regrette rien. "You aren't angry because I might be a racist, you're angry because you know I'm right".

#14 mellifluous?

I consider myself well read and fairly well educated, but I had to look that one up. What a pretentious assclown.

Bob K

#15 Friedbrain's little heart is all a'flutter

I had to look that one up, too. 'Pleasant and soothing to hear?'. Obama? That's like saying the muzzie call to prayer is "the most beautiful sound on Earth".

#16 Obama the dumb ass-

where are his transcripts and papers he had to write before graduating.
he cant speak from that cold RED heart.So how smart is dumb ass
he cant formulate a speech by himself.

Fast & Furious along with Solyndra are example of who BHO is BHO Policies have caused Failed Economy- Liberals = Wealth Re-distribution




#17 He's an empty suit

The reason the media loves BO so much is that they feel as though they are looking on the mirror. Both the press and the president are hollow between the ears yet can read a teleprompter while displaying empathy, and feigning a depth of knowledge on the issues. They are both useless fakes.

#18 He is as smart as his

He is as smart as his teleprompter allows him to be. He has proven over and over again, when off teleprompter, he has trouble stringing a coherent sentance together.

#19 How about

We have Sarah Palin fart, more intelligence there

#21 Hahahahaha!!

Obama debate??
Never happen.

Americans keeping their own earnings is a Civil Right! Demand your Civil Rights!

#22 Remember the Rick Warren

Remember the Rick Warren "debate"?

Obama made such a fool out of himself that Liberal bloggers accused McCain of cheating, claiming he got the questions in advance.

#23 I don't know what

mellifluous means; I can only assume "dishonest". Or maybe "cowardly."

And no, we don't want someone like Obama... UNLESS- we can draft someone with strong Conservative principles, and a record that piques only disinterest from the media. You know, someone the media has no interest in vetting.

Someone like that.

#24 Sorry, Tom. ANYONE Repub can go head-to-head against Obama...'s just that Gingrich would absolutely destroy and humiliate Obama. THAT is what we're wanting to see.

Think Cheney versus Edwards, times 10.

#25 Obama is not a good speaker.

Obama is not a good speaker. Period. Mellifluous, my foot. His style is strident, discordant and jarring. When you add those speaking characteristics to his penchant for lying to the American people, it's a bad package.

"This is not your mother's Democratic Party"--Andrew Breitbart, CPAC, February 2012

#26 True dat but....

He's still one of the most dangerous individuals to occupy the WH ever in this country's history.  Hell, he's a danger to this country, period.  His background in Islam alone makes him a grave danger.

There's no denying or changing that fact.


#27 You're description of Obama's

You're description of Obama's speaking style is spot on. A great way to describe it and 1000x's more accurate than Friedbrains.

#28 If we needed "mellifluous" as

If we needed "mellifluous" as a quality in a President, we would have elected Don Pardo or Michael Buffer a long time ago. Obama is mendacious and superfluous, which, I suppose for an imbecile like Tom Friedman, sounds similar to "smart" and "mellifluous".

"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."  -George Best

#29 Avoiding the "A" word....

Friedman was probably trying to avoid using the word "articulate" and thought this was a good synonym.

I do not think it means what you think it means.  -Inigo Montoya

So the GOP are looking for a candidate with a smooth, rich voice?

That's what "mellifluous" means.

It has nothing to do with being a great debater.

#30 Pop quiz, List One of the Prettiest Sounds on Earth

Got a fresh sweet as honey copy here...

#31 A full transcript or video link would be helpful...

In any event, Tim conveniently ignored Friedman's endorsement of Simpson-Bowles, which contradicts his claim that Friedman's secret to unlocking the economy is "always more spending".


#32 Here you go, Jer

The full transcript.

"But my advice to you can be summed up in two words: Thicker skin." - Jer

#33 Thanks, CX...

Will you summarize it for me, please? I don't have time to read the whole thing.



#34 I think I'll just say no, Jer,

and save you the trouble of criticizing my work.  ;)

"But my advice to you can be summed up in two words: Thicker skin." - Jer

#35 I see, just flat-out refuse.




#36 well, yeah, Jer.

But I hear Lady Gaga's former PA is looking for work if you want to hire someone to do that kind of stuff for you.

You'll have to pay her for overtime, though,.

"But my advice to you can be summed up in two words: Thicker skin." - Jer

#37 Jer, have you been drinking again tonight?

You get soooooooo angwee when you do dat.

Comrade Bubba

#38 No, bubba...but, while we're on the subject,

maybe you should reconsider that third six-pack.

Remember, you tend to get a tad cwuoss-eyed after about ten brewskis and you sometimes overlook little do-hickeys in comments like this: :-) ... which I put in my reply to CX for a reason.


#39 I see the emoticons, (_0_).

What?  You think I'm some illiterate (_?_)?  I also be litigerate in Ebonics, yo.

I never, ever drink beer.  Makes me hurt.  Besides, I tend to get mean as hell when I do

Comrade Bubba

#40 Still arguing that Friedman

Still arguing that Friedman is a "centrist" Jer? 

You have yet to respond how a centrist would love to be like China. Even if only for a day.

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." President Ronald Reagan

#41 Yep...

Although I believe I labeled him center-left, or centrist Democrat/center-left.

It was a clumsy explanation by Friedman. However, he added that he didn't want to be China for a "second" and he also took a shot at both the left and right.

I don't recall your linking the excerpt before--maybe it appeared in a blog. If you did, I apologize for not responding.


#42 The Biggest Lie of All the Liberal Lies...

... Is that Barack Obama is a smart man. Bullsh_t. He says way too many stupid things to be put in the "brilliant" category as the liberals do so often. "Corpse men" anyone? And what of his college transcripts? With his massive ego, you can bet those documents would be out there for all to see if he had the grades.

"If you want to make a Conservative angry, tell him a lie. If you want to make a Liberal angry, tell him the truth." - Rush Limbaugh

#43 The GOP can find

The GOP can find someone "as smart and mellifluous as the president" simply by nominating Trigg Palin.

#44 Amen brother

Nothing more needs to be said.

#45 Obama is Smart?

There is not one person in the GOP dumber than Obama besides maybe John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Ron Paul. Every Democrat voter is dumber than Obama, otherwise, they would not have voted for Obama. All the people in the federal government who are dumber than Obama are Democrats including their most intelligent: Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Joe Biden.

It is a shame and national disgrace that Obama has put two of the biggest morons ever to sit on the Supreme Court.

#46 Flash for you, Tom

Voters without a rich wife like yours, and not living in a rich area where houses are appreciating instead of being the worst mistake one ever made, those voters--are melliflued half to death by this guy, every day!, head back and forth, back and forth, same cliches, made up statistics (you will never go bankrupt again from medical costs), back and forth, bad joke, canned laughter, back and forth. Aieee. I would almost vote for a mime just for the peace!



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