One of the few journalists to deserve the respect of his audience, Jake Tapper of ABC News is a whiz on Twitter. From yesterday's appearance in Turkey, Tapper traveling with the President tweeted, "More "sorry about Bush" language: "I know there have been difficulties these last few years... that the trust that binds us has been strained."
Also, "Many Americans have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country - I know, because I am one of them." "U.S. is not a war with Islam...our partnership with the Muslim world is critical rolling back a fringe ideology."
These are quotes from Obama's speech to the Turks. He made a big play about going to a Muslim nation and making a "major" speech in his first 100 days. This satisfies that campaign promise. It also means absolutely nothing.
President Bush, after the murderous attacks of 9/11/01 made gesture after gesture of outreach to the Muslim communities across our country and abroad. He was completely clear that we are not a nation at war with a religion. We are a nation at war with those who preach jihad and wish us dead. Somehow, that message was never any big news from our media.
On his first trip to Europe as President, Obama was determined to make a clear distinction between himself and former President Bush. He thinks it will ingratiate himself with the rest of the world. He is incredibly naive for an educated man. Some common sense and dignity would suit him well.
Asked about the outcome of his trip to the G20 and NATO meetings, Lally Weymouth of Newsweek said his remarks - the constant drip of swipes at the former President - were a bad move. Weymouth is no mouthpiece for the loyal opposition. Also, Nile Gardiner of the Thatcher Center for Freedom and a Brit, said it is as though Obama is not only President of the U.S. but also trying to be President of the European Union. He said it is not just an insult to Bush but also to American soldiers who died to free Europe throughout the decades and tribute should be paid to those lives sacrificed. Instead, Obama goes to London and Paris and talks of America's arrogance, of America's "dictating" to the world, etc. As though trying to win a Mr. Congeniality contest, Obama went to the G20 looking for more financial bailout commitments from European countries. They declined. They told Obama he is mistaken in his huge bailout plans. They told Obama their countries had already done all they could do and do not expect more out of them.
Obama went to the NATO conference - the 60th anniversary of the organization - and asked for military commitments in Afghanistan and for help with taking in some of the prisoners to be released from Gitmo. He was refused all but 1,000 additional British troops and some help with training military police forces.
The world laughs at a President who wants to be "just like everyone else". There is no respect garnered from Arab nations as the President of the United States makes the faux pas of bowing to a Saudi king. The Queen was polite enough to laugh off and go along with Michelle Obama's blunder of putting her arm around her. Even George Bush didn't do that and he was a blood relative. Those intellectual and smooth Obamas sure do make some odd mistakes.
Maybe they are just tone deaf. Maybe they are just not learned on basic protocol. There are people available in Washington to help them. As Charles Krauthammer pointed out, it is the same man who used Roman columns as props in Denver that now goes around the world preaching humility. It is all just a bit too much.
Dick Cheney answered a question posed to him about the Obama foreign policy. Cheney answered that he thought it made the U.S. less safe. David Axelrod, marketer and Obama top aide, said Cheney is not a statesman. The incredibly thin-skinned Obama entourage - especially for being Chicago machine politicians - noted that President Bush was more than gracious and helpful in the transition period and that Bush wished President Obama well, and that Axelrod believed his sincerity. Yet, Obama takes shots at the former administration to tell Europe he is the new guy, Mr. Cool. This new bunch are very low on character and poise.
Not the first time Obama has thanked President Bush for a goodwill gesture with nasty remarks. He did the same in his last book as he recalled being a new Senator. He was invited to the White House and President Bush went over to him and offered some friendly advice. Obama mocked him in the book.
Class. Keep it classy, Obama.