Right Wing Talking Point Du Jour: ‘Obama Overwhelmed!’

I’m working through my personal issues with the British.

Right Wing Talking Point Du Jour: ‘Obama Overwhelmed!’I’ve seen this in a few places, but you know a talking point has hit it big when my pal Ed Morrissey is flogging it. From Hot Air:

After insulting Gordon Brown during the British prime minister’s visit this week by ignoring protocol and cheaping out on the traditional gift exchange, the UK media has erupted in outrage. The Obama White House has now started to recognize the firestorm the new President created with our closest ally, and wants to assure the Brits that he meant no disrespect. Instead, Obama apparently wants to assure them that he’s simply in over his head and floundering (via Radio Equalizer):

So, what is the ironclad evidence of the President’s in-over-headedness? Well, a UK paper heard words to that effect from the following sources: “Sources close to the White House,” “British officials,” “Allies of Mr Obama,” and “A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama’s inner circle.”

Well, to some degree, every one of those sources could have been me, or any of several thousand other people. I’m not saying that you can never use, or believe, anonymous sources, but the signal strength on all of these is very weak. What the sources are saying is fairly tepid, as well, which makes you wonder why these sources all had to be anonymous:

Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.

British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.

But Washington figures with access to Mr Obama’s inner circle explained the slight by saying that those high up in the administration have had little time to deal with international matters, let alone the diplomatic niceties of the special relationship.

Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president’s surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.

A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama’s inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to “even fake an interest in foreign policy”.

So, a President facing 2 wars and an unprecedented economic crisis, 6 weeks or so into his term, is falling apart because he gave the British Prime Minister some good DVDs to watch.

Besides, if things had gone differently, if Obama had fashioned a fox-hunting outfit from the uniforms of vanquished Redcoats, taken Brown out for some warm beer and boiled mutton, and kicked back to watch a game of “football” (in which nobody gets to touch the ball with their hands), these same right wingers would be saying, “Hey! We’ve got 2 wars and an unprecedented economic crisis on our hands! Give him some Freedom Fries & a crate of limes, and send him on his way! Amateur!”

Maybe there are some in this country who would be comforted by a president who could kill time clearing brush while everything falls apart, but I’ll take the guy who’s maybe pulling too many all-nighters.

Tommy on: Daily Dose I I Twitter
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  1. Tommy, I hope you packed your sun block and plenty of provisions for your trip down the highly picturesque, but ultimately frustrating, river of DeNile.

    During the previous administration, we were constantly lectured that the screechings of the press, especially The Guardian, were a reliable barometer of our reputation abroad.

    I am warming up to this idea. If the Gucci fits, wear it!

  2. I thought you’d like that

  3. Based on the foreign policy flubs we have been making in Europe, I can’t wait for our next excursion. Here is a hint of what to expect when our leaders interact with the Germans:

  4. Hey Tommy – i’m guessing that ur UK newspaper sources were The Daily Mail/News Of The World/The Sun et al. I live in Britain, and if i want to read lazy, populist xenophobic crap then they’re the newspapers to go to – and they’re running out of stories at the moment! As you said earlier, The Guardian’s about as reliable as you can get from the print media.

    However, as the name suggests, real ‘football’ is not meant to be played with ur hands 🙂


  5. I’m sure you realize that one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch 😉

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