President Obama has a number of “poker tells” which he displays when answering questions. They betray an increasing distance between his reply and the truth.
Talk show hosts love when the president gives one of his very rare press conference or any other occasion when he is off prompter. That is when these “tells” surface, giving all veteran Obama observers the verbal heads-up that the president has entered the land of thinly disguised fantasy or obvious dissembling.
First, the president begins a pattern of “ahs” and “uhmms” which are as embarrassing as they are revealing. The awkward pausing punctuated by these semi-stutters increases in frequency as the president senses his own flailing about.
Next, the president begins filibustering. His average length of answer in every press conference is already epic, but he has been getting worse as the presidency has dragged on. Pressers are not battles between the “reporters” and the president. Very few not named Jake or Ed bother the president with fastballs. The struggle is simply between the president and the effort he has to land the plane anywhere near where it took off, so far does he wander as he rambles through the minutes he is obliged to spend appearing to take questions.
The president will allegedly be subject to time limits on Wednesday night, but his contempt for most such rules almost guarantees he will blow through every limit and dare the moderator or Mitt Romney to challenge him.