Reuters reports: Obama’s Safety Net: the TelePrompter

No other president has used one so consistently and at so many events, large and small…Obama has relied on a teleprompter through even the shortest announcements and when repeating the same lines on his economic stimulus plan that he’s been saying for months….In a break from his routine, Obama did not use a teleprompter during his pre-Inauguration speech at a factory in Bedford Heights, Ohio — and his delivery seemed to suffer. He paused too long at parts. He accentuated the wrong words. And overall he sounded hesitant and halting as he spoke from the prepared remarks on the podium…

“The problem is, he never looks at you,” [a television crewmember said.] He’s looking left, right, left, right — not at the camera. It’s almost like he’s not making eye contact with the American people.”

First lady Michelle Obama said she is confident that her husband will be able to wean himelf off the teleprompter just as he’s done at home, where as of this year he no longer needs it to tuck the girls in at night.