October 4th, 2010
06:57 PM ET
4 years ago

Trending: Mondale to Obama: ditch the 'idiot boards'

Washington (CNN) - Walter Mondale, vice president during the Carter administration, has some advice for President Obama if he wants to win a second term: drop the teleprompter.

"He's got to connect with the American people," Mondale said, in an interview with CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.


"The American people have to feel that the president senses the suffering they're going through and wants to be a part of the solution."

One major issue Mondale spotlighted was Obama's use of teleprompters when delivering speeches.

"He uses these idiot boards to read speeches [o]n television and I think he loses the connection," Mondale said.

To improve, Mondale suggested that Obama should do more "backyard events where he gets in close with a small group," which is a strategy the White House has employed recently with the President.

Doing so, Mondale said, will "transmit the fact that he feels for people."

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Mike Pence uses a teleprompter. 99% of major office-holders don't write their own speeches and use a script or teleprompter.
    It has been that way for decades. All of sudden when Obama becomes President, the GOP Clones get all excited about someone using a teleprompter.

    October 4, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. Mary

    As if Obama's the only President to use them. Stupid comment.

    October 4, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  3. patnamm

    Oh shut up! where did your race get you?
    He won the presidency with them. Recently he has been doing outdoor meetings without them. Come up with something new.

    October 4, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. David

    "Idiot boards"? Really?

    Given the need to carefully craft state messages – not a bad idea to use technology like teleprompters. Obama does both – not that Mondale and others notice. People fixate on the teleprompter but ignore his countless town halls where takes questions. He's been doing them since he go into office.

    October 4, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  5. Albo58

    What Mondale and most of the other Dimwits fail to understand is that this President is NOT as smart as they claim he is, nor does he possess a lot of leadership traits, to include integrity, management, and empathy! He can't connect with most taxpayers because his actions and his words are worlds apart. Now 2 years into this administration, it looks like some of these folks are FINALLY figuring it out...see you in November!

    October 4, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. al

    Right, cause that's the most important criteria for whether he will be re-elected or not. Not the state of the economy over the next 2 years, not the job numbers, not the war in afghanistan. Nope it'll all hinge on whether he's still using a teleprompter or not. Hmmm.. did Carter win a 2nd term? did Mondale win a 1st term?

    October 4, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  7. asdf

    Umm didn't Mondale get owned in the biggest landslide in Presidential history (13 electoral votes lmao). Next Obama will be taking advise from Dukakis and posing in a tank.

    October 4, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  8. mike

    You can see why Mondale was a flop in his Presidential run; he's a dolt. I'm sorry, it's true!

    October 4, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  9. Jim

    He does not feel for people. He already knows he is going to make hundreds of millions doing the speaking circuit after he leaves office. Wanna bet how much of his money he spreads the wealth with after his presidency? My guess close to zero. It's easier to talk the talk than to walk the walk especially when it is your own money. Right now he is playing with the taxpayer's money so he could care less how much he sqanders and gives away. Beside that have you seen him without the "idiot boards" he rambles and goes in fifty different directions at once and never answers the question. There is no way he will due away with his trusted teleprompters. They are like a security blanket for him. Without them he is lost and it shows.

    October 4, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  10. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Oh please, when you ran you "connected" so well that 49 states voted for Reagan when it was getting obvious he was losing his mind.

    October 4, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. HarryTruman

    So basically, "This is how you really fool them. You're not doing a good job of fooling them with the teleprompter."

    October 4, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  12. Jimmy russell

    Mondel your telling him opposite of what he needs to do. He needs to go on national television every mounth or more playing tapes recorded from republicans saying things like"all planets in the solar system are warming"then play their contridictions of themselves saying earth is cooling. Inform people regularely things like,middle class make 950 dollars per day,5 days per week. They claimed obama would cut and run,now obama needs to ask if they still want the draft back as they wanted under bush. Ask if they trust kenya government documents and show on national tv that he proved he was born in america. Expose the lies as is done on media matters of america does. Give names of the coruption thats preventing him from extending your tax cut. The tea party just stoped your tax cut. That is a requested and proven fact.

    October 4, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  13. John G

    I'm not surprised Obama can't figure this out.

    October 4, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. 8 Years of having a drunken driver at the wheel put America in the ditch, why would working Americans return the keys to the crowd drinking at the same bar?

    Hey Walt, how many years were you the sitting President?

    Seems you were beaten by a landslide in 1984?

    Perhaps you should not be giving "advice" on a subject you know nothing about!

    October 4, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. JohnF

    OMG, this from a member of the famed Carter/Mondale team? We all remember Mondale for his drone, monotone uninspired communication. Stay out of this race, you are not helping your party!!

    October 4, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  16. Dave

    That would help, but I don't think he is able to connect using them or not using them.

    October 4, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. matt

    should mondale be giving advice on how to win elections?

    October 4, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  18. Kenneth

    This coming from Walter Mondale??? If they had teleprompters in his day you can bet he would have used them to the fullest!

    October 4, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  19. Bill

    All these are smoke and mirror. The speeches he gave in 2008 worked because people didn't know the policies he stood for. Folks were fooled to believe that he was a moderate democrat that will unite the country and fix the ailing economy. Now that he's the President, his policies goes against the people's wishes and he divided the country instead of uniting it. It's no longer his speeches or whatever that he uses to deliver it, IT IS HIS POLICY AND LACK OF LEADERSHIP that people are sick of. No back yard staged events will change that. People now know what he stands for and where he wants to take this country. And they don't like it.

    October 4, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. Andrea

    Excuse me, but I feel President Obama is connecting with the People. Whether he is reading from a tele prompter or not, he is a president of the people, not like some other presidents in the recent past. I didn't see President Bush do any backyard events..

    October 4, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. Ron in Asheville, NC

    I lived in the Minneapple from the mid-'70's to the mid-90's, and I have great respect for both Mondale and his mentor, the late Hubert Humphrey. BUT, they both drove me nuts because they talked too long without saying enough, and regularly got important things wrong in the process. I am probably in the minority, but I WANT policy statements based on information; I don't want schmooze. The only way to do that is to have prompts in some detail. Barack . . . keep the teleprompter. If people reject you because you tell them what you mean, that's on them, not on you.

    October 4, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  22. all of America

    The fact is ,obama has already burned his bridges with the public .He will not get reelected a second time because the people don't forget .

    October 4, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. guest

    Mondale is on the money. It will take years to dig us out of the mess left by the malignant Bush administration . The country is thirsting for competency and intelligent leadership. President Obama has restored integrity to the presidential seat. However, we are an angry country that needs more than a "kumbaya" approach in delivering good policy. There is a disconnect that has been created largely by the cantankerous Right Wing. It seems that the "squeaky wheel" is getting the most attention. President Obama speeches have as much energy as an end of the day lull. Put the caffeine back in the coffee please. Drop the prompters and reconnect with the pulse of the nation. We can switch back to decaf once the rot of Bush administration is cleared out.

    October 4, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  24. Don'tBumpMyFootintheStall

    Walter Mondale is still around?!!!!! Wow! It is possible to live forever!

    October 4, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  25. nazario a. gonzales

    Obama needs the teleprompter. It is his connection to the words he speaks. Without the teleprompter he fears he will go off message. Why is this? I really don't know, but he certainly never was a trial lawyer. Trial lawyers have to think on their feet and ad lib in order to present their arguments or position. Obama may have been editor of the Harvard Law Review, writes well, delivers well, but he has to be scripted to feel secure. To connect with jurors, or to the American public, he must be secure and he is not.

    October 4, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
1 2 3