President Obama’s campaign spokeswoman said she’s concerned Obama will sound too “professorial” to resonate with the low-information voters tuning into the presidential campaign for the first time during this week’s debate.
“[W]hat the American [people] are looking for is not just a professorial list of facts or accomplishments or even goals,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday as part of her ongoing, almost-comical attempt to lower expectations going into the debates. She then lamented that Obama “has a tendency to give longer, substantive answers.”
Psaki’s concern that Professor Obama will appear during the debates is understandable given that “he was the third-lowest-ranked lecturer” at the University of Chicago Law School in 1999.
Still, Obama’s background as a professor is more of a running joke in conservative circles than a typical Democratic criticism of the president. So why would Psaki bring it up now (beyond, again, the absurd expectations game that both sides play)?
Maybe it has to do with their target audience. “He wants to speak directly to the families — the people who are on their couches at home, having snacks, drinking a beer, drinking soda, whatever it is, and tuning in for the first time — and that’s who he’s speaking directly to,” she said.
Psaki explained that Obama’s debate advisers “pointed out to him that he needs to work on tightening and shortening his answers.”