Perhaps it was the stress of propping up the most powerful Man in the World, but whatever it was, it was too much. On Monday night, the Teleprompter, barely 2, died in action at a White House while serving at the side of Barack Obama:
The fragile, overused speech aid was little more than 2 years old. No immediate cause of death and no autopsy were announced.
The passing of the celebrated speech-giving helper happened suddenly and unexpectedly. The president was looking right at the teleprompter, giving remarks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door to the White House. He was rigorously defending his economic stimulus package, which has been rigorously criticized recently for being like many political speeches, not very stimulating.
While the Teleprompter was a key member of the administration, his passing was barely noted even by the president himself:
But all that came to a crashing and dramatic end Monday night. As the president launched into his 11 minutes of stimulating remarks, according to eyewitnesses, the old teleprompter simply expired, came loose, fell silently as if in movie slow motion before the stunned eyes of watchers and smashed into many pieces on the hard floor.
“Oh, goodness!” Obama exclaimed. “Sorry about that, guys.” The heartless audience of mayors, urban policy wonks and administration crowd-packers laughed out loud at the sudden death.
As if it was a mere machine, the 47-year-old president displayed no sign of concern or compassion whatsoever for his departed friend. He simply continued his speech with the surviving teleprompter on the other side.
The teleprompter’s remains were removed later by janitorial personnel for private burial. An official period of mourning was not announced. Not even a moment of silence. That’s the Chicago way.