I’ve just read an article titled Trump Campaign: Shifts in Approach Point to Possible ‘Pivot’ which notes that:
Over the past week, Donald Trump appeared to be making some small, but perceptible shifts in his untraditional presidential campaign, but not all political watchers are convinced the long-awaited “pivot” has really arrived.
The GOP nominee kicked off the week with back-to-back scripted addresses outlining his approach to the fight against the Islamic State and then another one detailing his support for the nation’s law enforcement community, delivering his speeches from teleprompters.
So far so good: nothing wrong with mentioning that Trump was “delivering his speeches from teleprompters.”
The article goes on to say:
The campaign shakeups came just before Trump delivered two more speeches that led many watchers to declare that the pivot had come. On Thursday, he told a North Carolina rally, during yet another speech delivered with the help of a teleprompter, that he does “regret” some of his inflammatory language.
Now, there’s a problem.
The subtle inflection that Trump was speaking with the “help” of a teleprompter rather than speaking “from” a teleprompter is hardly noticeable on a conscious level — just a straw in the haystack of words that constitute the complete article — but it is nevertheless a seed sown in the subconscious mind of the reader.
Maybe you’ll think this is nitpicking nonsense, but that’s the way it struck me the instant I saw the word HELP, a rider I don’t recall seeing any media-approved speech-makers saddled with.
Inserting the turn of phrase, “with the help of a teleprompter,” is a subtle departure from the usual, “speaking from a teleprompter,” the nuance being that Trump somehow needed an articulation crutch to create the impression of “a pivot.”
President Obama makes speeches all the time “with the help of a teleprompter” and no member of the media, liberal or conservative, insinuates that he needs an articulation crutch, even though on those odd occasions when he articulates briefly without “the help of a teleprompter” the most notable thing is the lack of cohesion in his delivery and the inability to find the powerful words that come so effortlessly when he makes speeches “with the help of a teleprompter.”
Practically everyone speaks with the help of a bleeping teleprompter. It’s the bleeping norm.
In my opinion, Trump’s big mistake from day one was to boast about his (nonexistent) ability to make great speeches without the use of a teleprompter. It committed him to continue the blunder of speaking off the cuff. And just look at the damage it has done to his image — and to his presidential chances.
For Pete’s sake, the technology is there to be used.