A question for our Seppo mates.

Just where does Barack Obamas accent come from?

Someone pull the plug...

Someone pull the plug...

He has an obviously cultivated speech pattern modeled closely on Martin Luther King, the uptick at the end of each sentence ( good verbal trick to attract attention) and the pauses, all easy to see where hes got those from.


As best as I can tell from Wiki (a strangely reverent article), from the ages of 0-4 he was in Hawaii, then from 6-10 in Indonesia. Then another 8 year stint in Hawaii.

That pretty well covers when most people would have settled on their “regional” or native accents. From my dealings with Indonesians he appears to have picked up no tonal or verbal tics or inflections from there. But I don’t know anyone who’s “native” to Hawaii. Id be quite surprised if many of them spoke with a similar style as Barry.


Is it possible that Obama has a wholely maufactured verbal style? His mode of speaking is plainly patterned on a role model (MLK), whom has he patterned his speaking voice on?


I’m curious to know.

A: Does he sound like a Hawaii native?

B: If not then who do you think he has patterned his speaking voice on?

C: Does that say anything about the man?

At least one was funny

At least one was funny

9 Responses to “A question for our Seppo mates.”

  1. bingbing Says:

    B: Jim Waley?

    It’s kinda half MLK, half TV newsreader and/or reporter. At uni, I’d put on my ‘news’ voice when doing PTCs (pieces to cam).

    No wonder the meedja love him. He talks their language. And they’re severely influencing the people on a much grander scale nowadays.

    Remember Bush sounded like the common man, even a bit hick, and the common man loved him for it (government would return to the people since the POTUS was slightly, seemingly, ‘below’ them i.e the people were smarter), but somewhere along the line, the media and academics got the upper hand again, perhaps when the people realised the government wasn’t being returned to them.

    So try a different tack. Since the government was continuing to become seemingly all powerful, the best worst option would have to be to put a seemingly all powerful head of that government in, as if that would help with personal liberty. The worst thing you could do but that’s what the great unwashed chose.

    Also, he most probably had public speaking lessons to help give him that grandiose aura – quite important when the common man grew tired of the common man.

    When the common man gets tired of Mr Grandiose being unable to deliver, someone with a common voice will probably get back in. Possibly a Palin but another Raegan would be the better option.

    Remember, Clinton had a pretty hick voice, too. After sixteen years of hick, the public flipped the coin.

    Just a thought. This stuff seems to go in cycles.

    After all, Reagan was neither hick nor grandiose. He had a kind, common touch yet was able to say stuff like, “Mr Gorbechev, tear down this wall,” with a power that still resonates today.

    I actually can’t see Obama being a one-term President but after that, the public may well want someone more on their level since by then, most will have worked out he’s not the Messiah.

  2. Angus Dei Says:

    A: No.

    B: Generic Harvard Ass-Wipes.

    C: Yes, he’s a tool.

  3. Kim Says:

    He is without an accent until he wants one. There is definitely no pidgen accent, but he puts on an admirable black one from time to time, a la Hillary putting on a southern accent when she’s been there to make a speech.

    The smug upturned chin, combined with the far away gaze, while he is on stage, is worse than any of his faux regional accents.

    If he had none before, he has had elocution lessons since taking office. There have been heroic efforts to keep him from f’ing up the teleprompter schtick. The wooden, metronome turning of his head from side to side, at precise intervals, has lessened after being mocked relentlessly.

    He spent the majority of his formative years with white grandparents and that is what I hear the most in his speech, though he can put on the black patterns when he wants.

  4. J.M. Heinrichs Says:

    Apparently, when he went to Harvard, he took with him a series of taped sermons by Rev Jeremiah to guide him in public speaking skills. That was mentioned back in 2007 or so, before his personal genius was properly recognised.


    • thefrollickingmole Says:

      Thats the sort of thing I was thinking, his speaking style is a deliberate act, not a natrual extention of the man.

    • bingbing Says:

      But they all do it when the cameras are on. He just does it really full on.

  5. nilk Says:

    I would have thought that his measured way of speaking is more to control or hide the slight stutter he’s got.

    That could be one of the reasons for the over-reliance on the Teleprompter.

    I know when I get excited I tend to stutter a bit, and have to slow down – especially when my mind is racing ahead full speed.

    • bingbing Says:

      For all the Obama Homies out there.

  6. Steve at the Pub Says:

    He is quite hard on the ears, difficult to force yourself to listen to, sort of like the “Aussie” (haha) character in the TV show JAG.

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