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Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley may have temporarily hurt his chances at higher office with a flat speech Tuesday night at the DNC. His hometown paper the Baltimore Sun said “It was too big and felt far too artificial and gimmicky for the intimacy of TV.” But that’s not what the Ohio delegation heard when he gave virtually the same speech to them at breakfast on Monday morning. Ditto for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (daughter of OH Gov. John Gilligan)
who spoke to Ohioans Tuesday morning and to the full convention later that night.

Both these smart, polished speakers sounded funny, engaged, and natural in the morning but stiff and flat in the evening. Stage fright? No, it’s the teleprompter, stupid. Both locked eyes on that teleprompter in the evening and held on for dear life. It’s understandable for civilians like Lilly Ledbetter who would have been a little nervous at any podium. But O’Malley and Sebelius clearly can talk – if they don’t worry about reading their speech.

Talking to people via teleprompters is difficult so give it up. Few people can work it as well as Bill Clinton or Michelle Obama. The question is: where did she learn to do that?

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