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The Brits are Bored with Barack

Brown and Obama meet the press

Brown and Obama meet the press

First thing this morning, commenter Fif, posted a link to a hilarious blog entry by Iain Martin at the Telegraph UK,
“Barack Obama really does go on a bit.”

Isn’t it time for him to go home yet? It is good, in theory, that the new President of the United States is taking so much time to tour Europe. He arrived in London last Tuesday, has been to Strasbourg, Prague yesterday and now he’s off to Turkey. It shows, I suppose, that he cares about the outside world and that is ‘A Good Thing’. But his long stay means that we are hearing rather a lot from him, way too much in fact.

His speeches have long under-delivered, usually leaving a faintly empty sensation in this listener even though I welcomed, moderately, his victory last year as offering the possibility of a fresh start and a boost to confidence.

Yet, we are told that he is a great orator and in one way he certainly is. He does have a preternatural calm in the spotlight and a mastery of the cadences we associate with the notable speakers in US history – such as JFK and MLK. But beyond that, am I alone in finding him increasingly to be something of a bore?

It looks like the Brits–at least the Conservative ones–are beginning to discover the real Barack Obama. His hopey changey act gets old very quickly unless you’re an adolescent with no basis for comparison except George W. Bush speeches or you have suffered acute brain damage from overdosing on Kool-aid.

Martin writes of Obama’s speech in Prague:

Today, we were treated to another set-piece Obama speech, and my didn’t he go on a bit? The crowd in Prague was huge, and initially wildly enthusiastic, but what he served up was not any more impressive than his damp squib in Berlin last year. Is there a computer which churns this stuff out for him?

Martin has also noticed Obama’s embarrassing, over-the-top narcissism.

“When I was born,” (Everything usually leads back to him, you’ll notice)… “the world was divided, and our nations were faced with very different circumstances. Few people would have predicted that someone like me would one day become an American President.” (Him again)…

“Few people would have predicted that an American President would one day be permitted to speak to an audience like this in Prague. And few would have imagined that the Czech Republic would become a free nation, a member of NATO, and a leader of a united Europe. Those ideas would have been dismissed as dreams”.

{Sigh} Can we really stand four years of this guy? It’s the same way in all his speeches. He always comes back to himself and the wonder of it all: his specialness, his amazing achievements, his judgement, his ability to bring people together, etc., etc. By the way, don’t miss the comments on the Martin post.

In the Daily Mail, another British blogger, Quentin Letts rips Gordon Brown up, down, and sideways for his fawning treatment of the U.S. President at their joint press conference last week. Of Obama, Letts writes:

Allegedly the most charismatic politician in the world, Mr Obama was a disappointment. It sounded as though he had a blocked nose and so his lack of energy may have been a symptom of a cold. Jet lag, too. He probably wished he could have stayed in bed….

He spoke slowly, in a meandering manner. Some might say that he was thoughtful and professorial. Others might call his manner circuitous, even yarny. Am I saying that he was a bore? Oh dear. I find that I possibly am.


Letts on Obama’s responses to questions from the press:

Those replies were, as I say, on the chewy side and came out at the speed of an action replay on Match of the Day.

So slow, in fact, that at one point a man from the Guardian dropped his tape recorder on the floor. Mr Obama’s best moment was when he was charming about the Queen.

Our old donkey Gordon, by comparison to this American visitor, was for once Mr Eloquent, Mr Quick-Off-The-Mark.

Mr Obama had managed to make Mr Brown look good. Another amazing achievement.

Oh my, those British bloggers really know how to cut to the quick. But Obama really wowed every one during the campaign. He’s the second coming of Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy! At least that’s what we heard again and again from the Obot media and bloggers. Just check out this doozy of a stump speech.

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65 Responses

  1. I love it. Maybe our liberal elite will come to their senses now that the Brits are getting bored.

  2. BB – great post! Can you put one of those linky things at the bottom so I can post it to my Facebook account? Thanks.

    • I’ll ask Katiebird to do it. I don’t know how yet.

      I’ve missed seeing you lately, scrubs! How are things?

    • Scrubs, OT, but have you been able to join PUMApac via Facebook yet? I’ve been trying for weeks and no luck.

      BB, nice job… finally the Brits are seeing through the Obamaveneer to the actual bore he is talks about himself constantly while throwing out answers like he’s giving a high school book report he didn’t read.

  3. Yeeeeeesssss!!! These are my people.

    Heh, I’ve only read the title and I’m loving it already … BRB after I read your post.

    • Hi britgirls,

      What’s going on over there? Are these guys representative?

      • I have to say, I’ve been avoiding all coverage of his grand European tour after reading this piece in the Guardian:


        The lavish spending just made my stomach turn. Not only that but the little things like the fact that his personal assistant dials his phone for him. It’s just ridiculous.

        And I don’t give a damn what Michelle is wearing or how toned her arms are (WTF?), so I’ve been avoiding the stories on her also.

      • Main stream Britons still think he is fab – given the press brainwash. FT’s commentator Clive Crook has turn pretty negative-he thinks the budget is unrealistic without tax increases and most of what O says is empty rhetoric.

  4. I love the last line

    next year he’ll be considered a wind-bag.

  5. Nice post, BB, and awesome alliteration in the title.

  6. LOL! This is the first chance I’ve had all day to check in (at work), and I found this! I knew my fellow PUMA family would appreciate that post. It really is hilarious, and completely nails the Fraudulent One.

    • Fif,

      They were reading it on the rw talk shows today too. I heard it in the car earlier.

  7. I really like the Quentin Letts post!

  8. Quote:

    “Fish and family start to stink after 3 days.”

  9. Mr Obama had managed to make Mr Brown look good. Another amazing achievement.

    I think Gordon Brown is okay but that made me laugh.

    • I don’t mind Brown, and don’t think he’s a bad guy. I just think he’s largely ineffectual.

  10. So, I was not crazy then? Good to know…

  11. I love TC but I hate to comment and I do not know how to link.. However, this is very important. Raw Story and Salon’s Glenn Greenwald have very critical reports on Obama’s DOJ behaving worse than Bush. The comments that follow these articles are hilarious and it sounds as if many people are pissed for voting for Obama. Also, Joe Trippi is sponsoring a protes this Sat in many cities nationwide. The site is anewwayforward.org. I believe many people should attend and help spread the word to family and friends. I have had enough. How about the rest of you?

    • iloveny,

      Thanks for the info. We all make typos. That’s no reason not to comment. I hope to see more of you!

      • Being a moderator carries with it the fringe benefit of being able to correct your own typos.

        BTW – Firefox has an automatic spell-check feature. I just started using FF last week and I’ll never go back to that other browser.

  12. OOPS! Protest! Now you know why I hate to comment!

    • So what. Everybody does it. No one minds or cares. As a newcomer myself I welcome you 🙂

    • Nah, don’t worry about it, we all do it. I once, on another board, meant to say “Bingo!” to a pertinent point.

      I mistyped and said, “BONGO!” It was a standing joke for awhile.

      • cause you really meant BONG ? 🙂

        No one cares about typos or even when the sentences are somewhat messed up when typing… that’s part of the fun with blogs… when you’re too careful you start to sound like Obama, I mean a windbag, oh dear!

  13. If O makes Brown looks good he is def going to be Brown’s new best friend! Brown needs all the help he can get to win the next elections.

  14. BB I wish that was what I would hear – just once! – when I turn on the radio or tv. Here (DK) they are still infatuated with B0, as are the Germans.

  15. Exerpts of what I have heard today on Danish and German radio and tv:
    B0 is an amazingly eloquent speaker. They are all blown away.
    Only one reporter was a little concerned that so far it seemed to be “just words”. That at least is a beginning.

    He is the new saviour. (I kid you not!)

    He is the most beloved American President since JFK, and draw crowds bigger than anything seen since JFK.

    He cares. He really connects. (Have those people actually seen him read from TOTUS? The connection always seems to go one way only: from the audience towards him. Unconditionally!)

    • They’re f*cking liars and game players and sickophants (stet), just like this country’s lousy MSM. Aaaaaaaaggggghhhhhhh.

      • Yeah, I know. Its been pretty depressing. I wonder, if I hadn’t been better off mental-wise, if I had listened to them instead of going searching the internet. Then again, I’m glad I found Y’all. 🙂

    • I think ARDs Anne Will is also skeptical. I occasionally watch German TV when I am in Germany. While ARD is rather to the left with ZDF being more to the right, I have seen Anne Will being quite cautious on O.

      For those not familiar with German TV, ARD and ZDF are national TV stations. Anne Will hosts the most important political TalkShow in German TV on Sunday evenings at 10:45. She is fab, a strong woman, clever, good looking….and came out last year to the broader public.

      • Thanks for this info Viv. I didn’t know that about their political leanings. I don’t really watch that much German tv, as my German isn’t that good, but I accidentally saw that they had extensive coverage of B0’s second victory lap.
        I watched some of the discussions afterwards, and I really like how polite and respectful they are of each other, even though I don’t agree with their view of B0.

        • German TV is a bit more serious compared to the US cheerleader style – probably more similar to Danish TV.

          Here a link to Will’s show when she recently interviewed for 50 min Angela Merkel. Quite a difference to O on Leno – also she answers question without teleP. Have a look at the video – even if your German is not brilliant -it tells you a lot about the difference in political culture.


          • And Angela Merkel talks almost 1 hr abt the financial crisis and NOT about bowling and special Olympics!

    • That’s so disappointing to hear. I remember over a year ago reading the following article in Der Spiegel, and thinking that at least the Europeans see through the Obama facade:


      Alas, Obama the Brand seems to have been successfully marketed over there as well … at least for now.

      • That man Axelrod do know his astroturfing, huh!

        By the way I was amazed by seeing him at the negotiation-table some days ago. How much power does he really have?

        • How much power did Rove have in the Bush administration? Quite a lot, is all I know.

    • Problem is also that half of them does not even do their own research but just copy and follow the US media!

  16. Just posted this on the NYTimes caucus blog, whose latest feature is a smarmy entry about f*cking arugula. Not that my comment will see the light of day…

    Talk about bread and circuses. Where, oh where, is the NYTimes entry about THIS?

    “New and worse secrecy and immunity claims from the Obama DOJ”

    Do we have to get the real news from sources such as Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald, who just wrote a very sobering, scary account of the Obama DOJ’s latest move, under the above headline??? Has the NYTimes COMPLETELY abdicated any responsibility for actual reporting??? Are cutesy updates on arugula to be the new steady diet? This charade is making me so angry, I can’t see straight. No wonder this country is going to hell.

    • Kat– great comment, I esp. love the visualization of new steady diet of arugula 😉 Too bad that arugula, a healthy leafy green veggie is now associated with Gasbag in Chief.

    • Lovely! I greatly admire all of you who keep kicking the media. Though it must be infuriatingly frustrating to know all that you know, and then not be able to communicate it to a broader audience.

      I keep thinking, that you can’t really blame those people, who get all their information from the established media. How are they to know any different about B0, than what the media tells them?

  17. Great post, BB. Love the article! And, your comment,
    “{Sigh} Can we really stand four years of this guy?” Don’t know if I can! Some days, it’s just so maddening, especially when I think we could have had Hillary!

    • I have been thinking abt this today in the gym- 4 years – imagine what i could do with all the energy i use up by getting upset abt O! If I used that energy to go to the gym I had probably toned arms and a flat stomach in 4 years-at least!!!

      • That’s what I’m thinking. No, not about the exercise. Hate it! Always did! But the part about spending so much time and energy on B0. And then I’m not even American, so what the eff!

    • Hi Lakota in ga!

      I don’t even like to think about that anymore. At least Hillary can talk without a teleprompter and doesn’t stumbe over her words and leave big pauses as she tries to think of something to say. She probably knows what language they speak in Austria too.

  18. No one can hold a candle to British snark. Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward, Peter Ustinov, Simon Cowell, the list goes on! He is so much “all about me” that the act gets rather old after about the first 5 minutes.

    Time to pack the bags, CinC. There is real work to be done right here.

  19. A funny comment on The Telegraph by strangerinbluesuedeshoes:

    Sounds like the Czech people were treated to the usual recycling of the Obama stump campaign speech full of euphemisms,’Greeting Card’ platitudes, strawmen arguments and his almost horiffic assumption that he is the singular visionary and possessor of wisdom and judgement sufficient to ‘Change’ the world.
    Rest assured,or, to use a well worn Obamaism,’let me be clear’, if Europe were subjected to this charlatan on a full time basis, the term Gasbag-in-Chief would emerge far quicker than the one year you suggest it may take Europe.
    Reject that notion,Mr.President.

  20. Love it!
    But as I wrote on the previous thread, according to ZDF what people came for in Prag was The Smile! You know this cartoonish grin he flashes at every and all occasions, whether appropiate or not.
    It seems to be his new trademark. So will he trash the Pepsi-ripoff-logo now? (Hardly)

  21. Him and his wife def score high in the dental department!

  22. New post!

  23. Poor kids! Looks more like a detention class to me.

    Maybe he should pass out some of those I-Pods he gave out during the primaries. That’ll get a rise out of the kids!

    Someone please call the Kool-aid man! These kids need a sugar fix!

  24. While I agree that Obama’s oratory is seriously over-sold (what I can’t stand is the delivery – the pauses, the rising cadences that go nowhere but down, the stentorian honking, just like the Canada geese that fly over my house) Quentin Letts is a creep and a fascist. Ugh. Please post a warning before including his snarling Tory snarks!

  25. Finally, the cat is out of the bag. OBAMA is boring!!! Take that, Kool-Aid slurpers!

  26. The Brits have seen it all before, we had our own ‘Obama affect’ in 1997, when one Tony Blair became PM. People were taken in with his charm and apparent sincerity, but history make clear that his achievements were virtually non-existent.

    Words are cheap, but they do capture the public imagination, however, eventually we measure action and results. It is difficult not to make direct comparisons.

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