September 12, 2012
NYC Letter: On The Fail Trail -- The "Smart Power" Ticket
Day 1,327 of CHOPE
D-minus 129 Days
My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly. ... You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can't visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.
lording his diplomatic experience over Campaign Mitt
DNCC ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
CHARLOTTE September 6, 2012 (ABC News)
Developments in Libya and Egypt are the big stories. Naturally we go with the little story.
Listening to Mr. Obama's acceptance speech the above quote stuck out. In his speech Mr. Obama didn't mention current unemployment (though surely he was privy to the dismal jobs report the BLS would release the next morning), didn't mention the current national debt (topping $16T during his convention), and didn't mention the current deficit (a record-spending August pushed it over $1T for the year), instead he waved his foreign policy résumé. Specifically he chided Mr. Romney for remarks he made in London about Olympic readiness as a point of comparison with his own astute diplomacy.
LONDON/NEW YORK July 26, 2012 (ABC News) - In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams on Wednesday, Romney expressed some reservations when asked whether London was "ready" for the Games, calling some aspects "disconcerting" in an interview. Mr. Romney:It's hard to know just how well it will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials... that obviously is not something which is encouraging.
That didn't sit well. The quote screamed across the headlines of British papers Thursday morning.
And that sold some newspapers for Fleet Street. However as transatlantic crises go, Mr. Romney's remarks about readiness problems at the Olympics -- problems already reported in the British press -- who's fooling who? The British public managed to contain their ire and Grosvenor Square was not besieged, the ambassador was not killed, and the American flag flew unmolested above its embassy.
Which brings us back to Mr. Obama, whose re-election will ensure another four years of blusterless blunder-free diplomacy with "our closest ally".
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S BIGGEST BRITISH GAFFES
By Charlie Spiering
July 27, 2012 (WaEx)
We give an abridged list from the article.
March 2009: Obama "Too Tired", To Properly Host Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to visit the President at the White House, but the British press reported there was no "full-blown press conference" or "formal dinner", as has been customary. The British Press reported that the President was "too tired" to properly host the Prime Minister because he was dealing with the economic crisis.
Even worse was this reported quote from an anonymous State Department official: "There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment."
March 2009: Obama Gives Prime Minister Gordon Brown A Box Of DVDs
While visiting the United States, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave the president a pen fashioned out of the same wood as the Resolute Desk. What did Obama give him in return?
"Barack Obama, the leader of the world’s richest country, gave the Prime Minister a box set of 25 classic American films – a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks," reported the Telegraph.
What’s worse, the set of DVDs was coded for the United States and unreadable by UK DVD players.
April 2009: Obama Gives Queen Elizabeth An iPod
White visiting the Queen, the Obama family gave her an iPod, prompting raised eyebrows from the British Press. The MP3 player came pre-loaded with photos from President Obama’s inauguration and audio files of the president’s speech as a senator to the 2004 Democratic National Convention and his 2009 inauguration address.
The queen reportedly already had an iPod.
September 2009: Obama Refuses Private Meeting With Prime Minister Gordon Brown During UN Summit
"Our closest ally".
April 2009: First Lady Michelle Obama Breaks Protocol By Touching The Queen’s Back
January 2011: Obama Calls France America's 'Strongest Ally'
While President Obama was visiting France, the British Press was particularly vexed when he told French President Nicolas Sarkozy that France was America’s strongest ally. [Ed.: FRANCE!]
"The UK has lost nearly 350 troops in the war against the Taliban – seven times as many as France," noted the Daily Mail.
"Our closest ally".* [Pause.] When Mr. Obama went looking for takers of Gitmo detainees to push along closing the terrorist detention camp -- a French special project -- France deigned to take -- one. In Afghanistan our "strongest ally", over successive governments, provided steadfast defense of the cocktail lounge at Kandahar airport (and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here, in chronological order), but must now bid us adieu (here and here).
May 2011: After Toasting The Queen, Obama Continues Speaking As The Band Starts Playing 'God Save The Queen'
This awkward moment had both countries wincing, as the President presumed to keep speaking even though the band started playing. The BBC notes: According to protocol, however, he (Obama) should have stopped after the toast.
December 2011: President Obama Refers To The British Embassy As The "English Embassy"
From the Daily Mail: In an interview yesterday, Mr Obama said: "All of us are deeply disturbed by the, err, crashing of, err, the English Embassy, err, the embassy of the United Kingdom."
June 2012: President Obama Refers To The Falkland Islands As 'The Maldives'
This was a mistake on top of a gaffe, as the Maldives are actually in the Indian Ocean. Obama was trying to say "Malvinas" — the name given to the Falkland Islands by the Argentine government, a British possession which Argentina invaded in 1982. This was the British equivalent of suggesting that the U.S. hand Pearl Harbor over to the Japanese. As the Telegraph's Nile Gardiner writes: "This is a position that Britain views as completely unacceptable, and with good reason."
"Our closest ally".
Perhaps you, like us, are dizzied at this point by the steady blustering and blundering of Mr. Obama's diplomacy. How, you might wonder aloud, does Mr. Obama with his record of blundering and blustering get away with disparaging Mr. Romney for commenting on reports in the British press? [A moment to let the question hang in the air.] Ah, dear naïf, it is the same "how" for all Mr. Obama's warts and pimples. He owns the press charged with reporting his warts and pimples. They cannot bear to look, instead, like Shem and Japheth, they advance backwards to cover Mr. Obama with the cloak of a favorable interpretation.
Running on his record. Vote accordingly.
* France also has a special relationship with the Britain.