Former president Barack Obama played a significant role in some of the Democrats’ 2022 midterm campaigns, appearing to support candidates in need, though not without occasionally being heckled, as a funny video from the time shows. At the time the heckling video came out, Obama had lent his name to the Fetterman campaign, for starters, and was making the rounds in Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Though old at this point, we still think the video is funny and worth checking out.
The heckling video that took the internet by storm at the time cam out when former President Obama appeared in Michigan to bolster Gretchen Whitmer’s reelection bid. During the speech, one lone wolf of a heckler clearly got under Obama’s skin. Though the grainy audio makes it hard to hear what the heckler was saying, he clearly got under Obama’s skin.
What’s more, Obama didn’t just get annoyed, he made the mistake of engaging. In fact, Obama stopped the speech to engage with the heckler and try talking to him after identifying him to the crowd. Generally, even noticing hecklers is a bad idea, as it emboldens them and throws the speech off. Stopping a speech to deal with them is even wilder, as then it puts you and your speech at the mercy of a malcontent there to cause chaos.
In any case, that’s what Obama did. He stopped the speech, faced the heckler, and started speaking to him as the restless crowd watched. The two-minute video of the incident that emerged is absolutely hilarious and, as conservative influencer Benny Johnson said at the time, is reminiscent of an inexperienced teacher trying to deal with rowdy students.
Benny, making that joke in a tweet that racked up thousands of retweets and over twelve thousand likes, said, “Obama trying to get the crowd to pay attention to him after getting heckled reminds me of a student teacher trying to control a classroom 😂”
Watch the wild moment here:
As can be seen in the video, the heckler threw off a clearly-flustered Obama, who searched for words to continue his speech before being equally stumped as to how to stop the heckling. Beginning his plea for the man to stop, Obama told him, “Come on.”
Continuing, Obama went on as the crowd tried to drown out the heckler with “Obama” chants. He said, “But this is what I mean. This is what I mean. I mean we’re having a conversation.” Obama continued, “Right now, I’m talking. You’ll have a chance to talk sometime soon. We don’t have to interrupt each other. We don’t have to shout each other down, that’s not a good way to do business. You wouldn’t do that in workplaces. You wouldn’t just interrupt people in the middle of a conversation. It’s not how we do things.”
From here, it was chaos. The crowd was no longer listening to Obama but was instead more interested in following the heckler’s situation with police. When he tried to regain control, it wasn’t working, as the former president could only muster futile pleas of “no,” “wait,” and “quiet.” As one Twitter comment said, Obama can only dream of having the sort of charisma Donald Trump has at rallies. The MAGA crowd couldn’t get quiet fast enough to hear Trump rip on some lunatic protester. In Obama’s case, he just doesn’t have the same swagger as before; the emperor has no clothes.
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