Why didn’t he look us in the eyes?

This may seem petty, but it has been gnawing at me …

Last Thursday, President Obama announced to the nation that he had authorized airstrikes in Iraq.



His rationale: act against an act of genocide and protect Americans stationed in Iraq.

I’m ok with the reasons and the actions.

This isn’t a political observation.

Here’s what’s been bothering me ….


I watched the speech live.

You can click above to watch it, but no need for the point I’m going to make.

Physically, it was typical Obama … with his bobbling back-and-forth, side-to-side.

He never looked his TV audience in the eyes.

I wondered: are there people in the room that he’s addressing?

Answer: no … except for the cameramen and some pool reporters.




None the less, he stayed with his well-practiced teleprompter habit of looking side-to-side.

Got me wondering (and distracted from the content).

This was an prime time address to the nation.

In similar situations, other presidents (think Reagan, Clinton, Bush) would be staring straight ahead at the American people.

Why didn’t Obama look us in the eyes?

Didn’t he believe what he was pitching?

Or, is he just a creature of habit?

If the latter, why didn’t they just move one of those big blue teleprompters straight ahead?


Teaching point: If you want somebody to believe what you’re saying, look them in the eye.


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