During his commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on Wednesday, President Obama sought to lay out the key components that would define his Administration’s foreign policy goals for the remainder of his presidency. Instead, a large majority of the media coverage surrounding the speech focuses on the less than warm reception he received when taking the stage and throughout the address.
“Let's go from Snowden to the reception at West Point for the President, which is shocking and tragically sad,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “If you look at the stadium, it is full… There's a few people that stand up and start to give him a standing ovation – but it's maybe 5% of the audience – and nobody follows."
Many have described the reception the President received upon taking the stage at West Point as “icy.” Watch the entrance courtesy of Reuters:
In terms of audience response, the speech really just went downhill from there. President Obama paused several times during the address at moments that he most likely expected to be applause lines – but those in attendance largely had no response. The few points at which the audience did applaud were lackluster at best.
“He's giving his speech, and he's waiting for applause, and it never comes,” Glenn said. “And when it does, [it makes his entrance] seem like an outrageous ovation. It really does.”
On radio this morning, Glenn played some of the most cringe worthy moments of the speech from both a policy and audience response perspective. As Glenn explained, the lack of enthusiasm is both sad and dangerous given this was a situation in which the commander in chief was addressing the U.S. military.
“We don't do this with, honestly, any joy because we think this is very dangerous for the United States of America to have its commander in chief so separated from its soldiers, but we are. The soldiers are disconnecting now from the President,” Glenn said. “He didn't address the VA scandal. He should have. I don't know about anybody else, but I'm so sick of the teleprompter. Just speak from the heart, man. Can you not just speak from the heart?”
During his speech, President Obama wandered through a weird maze of policy goals that included everything from climate change to the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention center. It was a bizarre subject matter for a speech given in the audience of servicemen and women.
“There you are talking to the military about that,” Pat said disgusted. “Listen to this.”
“It sounds like a Rotary Club meeting,” Glenn concluded. “That is absolutely incredible. I have never heard anything like this. It is extraordinarily dangerous to have our military disconnect and no longer trust and believe in the president of the United States – so sad and so dangerous.”
You can watch the President’s full speech below:
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Front page image courtesy of the AP