(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
First Lady Michelle Obama at DNC, Charlotte, NC
Those who tuned in to Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday may have experienced a strange sense of familiarity.
Not because she has been in the national spotlight for the past four years, but because she bore a striking resemblance to her famous husband in speech and gesture.
Perhaps it is the natural result of being together for decades. Perhaps the famous orator coached her before her speech. Either way, the similarity was uncanny.
First and foremost, as Gawker noted, the first lady spoke with a feigned stutter. The admittedly left-leaning Gawker author writes:
Michelle Obama stutters. She does not have a stutter. She stutters on purpose. “I-I-I, I’ve seen it in our men and women in uniform.“ ”Fr-from the young person with so much promise.“ ”And-and, even as a kid…”
It is a studied stutter, deployed in order to build sincerity. It is not so much a rhetorical device as an acting device. The same could be said for the presentation of almost all political convention speeches. And it is, at its core, sad.
And if you’ve listened to Barack at all over the years, you’d know he has the same thing. Don’t believe us? Here is a side-by-side example:
But the similarities don’t end there. Viewers also may have noticed on Tuesday that Michelle uses very familiar hand gestures to Barack:
And in what was perhaps the strongest resemblance, the first lady used the words “I” and “me” a staggering number of times. According to Keith Koffler, she used the two words 83 times in her 25-minute speech, or roughly 3 times a minute.
Her husband is famous for a similarly self-centered rhetorical style. In a 25-minute speech in July, for instance, President Obama referred to himself 117 times, according to CNS News. Mathematically, this means the president used the words “I” or “me” roughly 13.09 seconds.
Here is a montage of the two:
A number of people are starting to pick up on the similarities, in particular Michelle Obama’s newly-developed stutter.
Eddie Scarry compiled a list:
TIME‘s White House Correspondent Michael Scherer tweeted, “Michelle Obama’s rhetorical style leans on the intentionally stuttered word.”
Similarly, New York magazine editor Dan Amira said, “Michelle Obama’s speech would have been better if she didn’t fake-stutter every sentence for dramatic effect.”
Going balls to the wall, TWT columnist Mary Beth Hicks tweeted, “The stuttering is SO EFFING FAKE.” And Twitter personality Gourmet Spud concurred, asserting, “Michelle Obama is a great speaker, but she uses that annoying fake-stutter-at-start-of-sentence way too much.”
What did you think of the speech? Did you think the stutter was fake? If so, was it effective?
TheBlaze’s Brendan Awerbuch contributed to this report.