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Chaos in the White House - Obama's teleprompter blows up

By Jimmy Orr / March 18, 2009

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen liked President Obama's speech so much yesterday that he repeated it -- for 20 seconds. At that time he realized that Obama's speech was still on the teleprompter.

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Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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Or as Daily Mail blogger Don Surber writes, "Live by the TelePrompTer, die by the TelePrompTer."

Lookin' good

Teleprompters are great. You never have to look down at your notes. You look like you're ad-libbing. And, for the most part, they're invisible.

Maybe that's why President Obama likes them so much. Sure, other presidents have used them. But not to the extent of President Obama.

He even used one in a rodeo once (while speaking not while roping goats or anything).

Caution

The only problem is, when they blow up -- you can blow up with them.

There were instances during the campaign where alleged teleprompter breakdowns caused him to stumble a bit.

But so far at the White House, it's been pretty good. He looked lost here. But quickly rebounded.

Yesterday though, was another story.

BOOM

The president was appearing with Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen. Obama just got done with his remarks (using the teleprompter) and Cowen got up to deliver his speech (also on the teleprompter).

Problem was, Cowen's speech wasn't there. The one Obama just got done delivering was still on it.

Made no matter to the Irish PM. Like a zombie he just started reading the words.

"We begin by welcoming today a strong friend of the United States," Cowen began welcoming himself.

And he kept going. About 20 seconds later, it appeared to Cowen that he was repeating everything Obama just said.

"That's your speech," a startled Cowen said to Obama.

"Why don't these things work for me? Who said these things were idiot-proof?" Cowen muttered (we're assuming that was not on the teleprompter).

Ba-doom-ba

Not missing a beat, when President Obama returned to the podium he returned the favor.

"First, I'd like to say thank you to President Obama," Obama said to much laughter.

Video

We know what you're thinking. Where's the video?

It's not up on YouTube. And as you would imagine, the right side of the web is clamoring for it.

Guess who had a ball with the story this morning? MSNBC? Not so much. FOX and Friends made a regular comedy routine out of it (see below).

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