On Tuesday’s broadcast of Laura Ingraham’s radio program, guest host Raymond Arroyo asked conservative Washington Post columnist George Will to react to MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews’ claim that President Obama’s Monday inaugural address was reminiscent of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Will said he didn’t have much faith Matthews’ ability to play the role of an impartial observer, and blamed the MSNBC host and other Obama “acolytes” for overstating the president’s rhetorical skills.
“Chris is an excitable fellow and you can’t expect him to be a sober barometer of what’s going on,” Will said, laughing. “Look, this was a fairly pedestrian talk. I ask you — what sentence, what phrase from this inaugural address will be remembered a week from now? I can’t think of one. For all the talk about how Mr. Obama is our Demosthenes, the late master of public oratory — the only sentence in the last six years from him that I can remember is one I’m sure he wishes we’d all forget, and that is when he said his nomination would mark the moment when the rise of the oceans slowed. His rhetorical skills are vastly overrated simply because acolytes like my friend Chris swoon when they hear it.”
Will went on to explain that while some have said Obama has dropped the veil of centrism in that speech, it wasn’t as if his policies didn’t reflect a progressive outlook.
“Some liberal commentators this morning have said in this inaugural address, Obama dropped the veil and no longer masquerades as a centrist,” he said. “Now he’s a full-blown, full-throated progressive redistributionist, expand-the-government man. What veil? When? We’ve been doing this since the stimulus in the spring of 2009. He continued it with the enormous enlargement of the welfare state by essentially nationalizing 18 percent of the American economy that is health care. What veil? This was indeed — and I don’t criticize Obama for this — this was an act of extraordinary, but overdue, candor to come out and say, ‘This is what I am. Get over it.’”