Obama: You say Orion, I say Oar-ee-on, let’s call the whole thing off!
Posted by danishova on March 24, 2009
From Powerline, who asks, “How would he pronounce Cassiopeia?”
Everyone knows that Barack Obama is lost without his teleprompter, but his latest blunder, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, via the Corner, suggests that the teleprompter may not be enough unless it includes phonetic spellings. Obama was speaking at a White House roundtable on clean energy systems, and repeatedly saluted Orion Energy Systems, whose CEO, Neal Verfuerth, was present at the event. So Obama referred to "Orion" a number of times. Only problem was, he appeared to be unfamiliar with the word:
All terrific press for Orion, except that Obama kept pronouncing the company’s name wrong, calling it OAR-ee-on.
Is that how they pronounce “Orion” in Kansas? I ask because Barack once claimed to have a Kansas-sounding accent. Which I’m sure you’ve noticed, seeing how he pronounces Pakistan as “Pohk-ee-stahn” and Taliban as “tahl-ee-bahn”, which is like right out of the heartland.
"I don’t think there’s any secret about this," Obama said. "My father was from Kenya so I’ve got an Arab-sounding name, and I think most people know that I was raised by my mom who was from Kansas, which is why I’ve got a Kansas-sounding accent…
Here’s Shelby Steele on Obama’s accent, in an interview with Black Star News:
BSN: What I’m curious about Obama is, where did he get his Black accent, if he wasn’t raised around Black people, but by a white mother from Kansas? Does his voice sound authentic or adopted to you? I figured you might have an insight about this since your mother’s white, too.
SS: It sounds a little hollow. Sometimes, he’s Martin Luther King, sometimes, he a Black militant from the Sixties, then he’s a Baptist minister. He can be so different. There’s not yet an Obama voice. That troubles me on other levels. It’s hard to know what bag he’s going to come out of when he takes to the podium. You’re making the point that, given his background, he doesn’t have the flava’, that he’s a bit artificial and struggling to get there. Yeah, sure, that is part of what I talk about in the first half of the book. I think this need to belong has trailed him all of his life.
Ed Morrissey covered this at Hot Air as the Obamateurism of the Day.
Barack’s Teleprompter has the tantalizing inside scoop here: In Which Gibbsy Proposes a Threesome.