What are we to make of President Obama and his, shall we say 'glitches' as he vacations in Europe with First Lady Michelle en route to the G8 meeting? Is vacation the correct term? I think it may be since it began with a visit to Ireland and his partially ancestral village.
The money shot from that excursion was the pub stop and the hoisting of a pint of Guiness. Michelle sipped some, too. See, they are really just ordinary folks, those Obama's.
Following the pub photo op - complete with a distant cousin - presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty tweeted: "sorry to interrupt your European pub crawl, but what was your Medicare plan?" I know it rings true because the left immediately went into whine mode. And, as the left calls the tweet 'classless' let's all remind them that Barack enjoys extending the middle finger along the side of his face in a fake rub, shall we?
Then the volcano erupted in Iceland and Team Obama had to leave the festivities in Ireland a day early and headed to the next stop, England. So, Barack and Michelle became one of those couples. You know the ones, they arrive way to early to the party and you have to find something to entertain them as the preparations are completed.
Signing into Buckingham Palace, Barack dated his signature with the year 2008 instead of the current one. Oops. Well, you can understand since 2008 was such a very good year for the man. Why wouldn't he want to live there? Besides Europe was embarrassingly smitten with him and the man does love the adoration of a crowd.
During the formal state dinner hosted by the Queen, Obama rose to do the traditional toast but his wires were crossed. The band broke into God Save the Queen about half way through the toast and Obama powered through. He ended by moving his glass toward the Queen, sitting next to him, and she simply looked at him and turned away. She wasn't abandoning protocol. Not even for Barack Obama. Ouch. He had to re-toast at the end of the anthem.
I won't go into the faux pas of Michelle not wearing a hat as she visited the Queen. It's traditional and a show of respect but Michelle has not shown decorum in the past with wardrobe choices, so why expect it now? She's American so it's not such a big deal. And, as long as the Washington Post continues to write stories that she is the most fashionable First Lady ever, well, that's that.
Obama was extended the invitation to address Parliament. The last American President to do so was George W. Bush in 2003. Columnist Wesley Prudent wrote of Obama's unfortunate habit of showing a distinct lack of knowledge of American history, this time as it relates to the Brits:
First, a quote from the London Daily Telegraph:
“The presidential text,” observed the London Daily Telegraph, “sounded as if it had been worked on so hard and conscientiously by a vast team of helpers that it had lost all savor, and had been reduced to a series of orotund banalities of the sort which can be heard at every tedious Anglo-American conference: ‘Profound challenges stretch out before us . . . the time of our leadership is now . . . Our alliance must remain indispensable.’”
The president’s bromides, meant to warm the occasion, could teach him to be wary of historical allusions when he attempts to match his Harvard education against learning from Oxford, Cambridge and the University of East Anglia. Everything between Britain and the United States has been “smooth sailing,” the president said, “ever since 1812,” when the Redcoats took a burning brand to Dolley Madison’s White House. This assertion invited critics to recall a few occasions of rough sailing since then, such as the British attempt to retain the Suez Canal in 1956 over the obstructions of the Eisenhower administration—when even the French wanted to help.
The history and lore of America and the exploits of American heroes once familiar to every schoolboy have never much interested Mr. Obama, who received his early education, where the longest-lasting cultural impressions are formed, in a Muslim school in Indonesia. He gives the impression of being above it all, an impression he carefully cultivates.
On to Deauville, France where the actual summit convenes. Obama made great noises about how swimmingly he and Medvedev got on after meeting together. Unfortunately, Medvedev had a different take on the results:
President Obama had just finished touting the “outstanding relationship” he and Dmitry Medvedev have built between themselves and their nations – the American leader even used the “reset” button metaphor again – when the Russian president turned to the thorny issue of Washington’s plan to upgrade its missile defense shield, and uncorked a stunner.
“I have told my counterpart, Barack Obama, that this issue will be finally solved in the future,” Medvedev told reporters in Deauville, France, “like, for example, in the year 2020.”
It wasn’t merely that Medvedev had chosen a date almost comically far into the future to suggest when the two nations might come to terms; the particular date he chose carried special meaning. 2020 is the year when the State Department has estimated the U.S. will deploy the SM-3 Block IIB, a missile still on the drawing board but being designed to intercept medium- and intermediate-range missiles that might be launched from the Middle East.
Since the Russians purport to see the Block IIB as a threat to Moscow’s own ballistic missile arsenal, Medvedev’s reference to the projected date of its deployment, in an otherwise cordial photo-op with the American president on the sidelines of an international summit, sent an unmistakable signal
Plus the added fact that the House of Representatives voted on a defense bill that may delay the START II treaty between Russia and the U.S. that Obama was so very proud of as he signed it.
And, yet another smack up the side of the President's head occurred in the U.S. Senate. The budget proposal released by the White House back in February didn’t win a single vote in the Senate on Wednesday— the final tally was 0-97. Senate Republicans pushed for the vote as a counterpoint to the defeat of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan.
POLITICO’s David Rogers reports: “The vote on the president’s plan turned into a rout, with neither Republicans nor Democrats voting in favor of taking it up. At one level, the 97-0 vote showed how out-of-date the February requests can seem after so much has changed in the spending debate already this year. But for Democrats, it also proved a convenient way to mask their substantial internal differences over how to proceed” on addressing the government’s fiscal problems
This sound defeat of the President's proposed plan (budget) for the way forward was little reported in the media, just glossed over, really. Not surprising since the American press are in re-election campaign mode for their candidate, Barack Obama.
The President's spokesman did announce that Air Force One will touch down in Missouri so that he can survey the damage of the tornado activity that destroyed the city of Joplin. He didn't exactly receive compliments for the timing of events with his pub crawling in Ireland and those photos and video that came out as the people of Joplin were experiencing their devastation.