Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 7:53 am on March 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, President Obama delivered an address on green energy after watching several presentations from companies hoping to reap the bounty of his new policies. Unfortunately, he didn’t pay close enough attention to the presentations, as Obama repeatedly mispronounced the name of one firm he used as an example of innovation:

President Barack Obama just finished speaking at a White House roundtable on clean energy efficiency attended by Neal Verfuerth, Orion president and chief executive. Obama saluted Orion.

Obama said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $59 billion for “clean energy and energy efficiency” and said his proposed 2010 budget would ocmmit [sic] $150 billion in funding over 10 years. …

All terrific press for Orion, except that Obama kept pronouncing the company’s name wrong, calling it OAR-ee-on.

Here’s the video of the Obamateurism:

Of course, one can’t be expected to get the pronunciation of every word on the TelePrompter correct. Not even, say, a word that plays a large role in Greek mythology and astronomy, two topics that a well-educated person could be expected to have some familiarity — if not the presentation that had taken place just minutes before, which Obama himself acknowledged in his speech.  (via Jill and Bruce)

Update: Via Instapundit, I see some claim that Obama got the pronunciation correct.  Let me refer back to the JS-Online report to have the President himself rebut that:

After finishing his remarks and talking with a few people, the president returned to the microphone and said his prepared remarks led him to pronounce the firm’s name wrong.

“I suspect this is Or-EYE-on as opposed to OAR-ee-on. Just wanted to make sure that when I’m giving you a plug, that we’ve got the right plug. It’s Or-EYE-on.”

I originally intended to include that in the video clip, but it wasn’t caught on tape.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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Comments

Yesterday we found out why he hasn’t released his medical records.

Today, it’s pretty clear why his college records remain sealed.

Barb Dwyer on March 24, 2009 at 8:05 AM

I missed that-what was his excuse?

Del Dolemonte on March 24, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Welcome to POTUS and TOTUS Land, where nothing could possiblai go wrong.

Er, possiblee go wrong.

Strange. That’s the first thing that’s ever gone wrong.

Tuning Spork on March 24, 2009 at 9:54 AM

BTW, Chimpy Bush used a phonetic teleprompter at the United Nations.

Del Dolemonte on March 24, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Micotene fits can make One quite discombobulated!

wildweasel on March 24, 2009 at 9:55 AM

I mean Nicotene

wildweasel on March 24, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Seems like Duh1 need pronunciation lessons from Arnold Schwartz…Swatzi….Schatsis…the Governor of Kaleeefornica,

or somethin’ like that.

Sweet_Thang on March 24, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Del Dolemonte on March 24, 2009 at 9:54 AM

lol

And Obama needs one at home!

bridgetown on March 24, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Don’t know much about his-tor-y
Don’t know much bi-o-lo-gy
Don’t know much about science books,
Don’t know much about the French I took.

But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world this could be!

hoosiermama on March 24, 2009 at 9:58 AM

hoosiermama on March 24, 2009 at 9:58 AM

My personal request for Paul Shanklin!

hoosiermama on March 24, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Nicotine

Obama tried the nicotine patches, but he couldn’t keep them lit.

BacaDog on March 24, 2009 at 10:00 AM

After finishing his remarks and talking with a few people, the president returned to the microphone and said his prepared remarks led him to pronounce the firm’s name wrong.

“I suspect this is Or-EYE-on as opposed to OAR-ee-on. Just wanted to make sure that when I’m giving you a plug, that we’ve got the right plug. It’s Or-EYE-on.”

So who got a hold of his ear (pun intended) to tell him the real pronunciation.

PrincipledPilgrim on March 24, 2009 at 10:01 AM

This guy is a real dufus. A village has lost one of it’s idiots!!!!

RealDemocrat on March 24, 2009 at 10:01 AM

If you’re in Chicago, it’s impossible not to know of Mr. Samuelson.

slknoerr on March 24, 2009 at 9:43 AM

It’s not that impossible. I myself have never heard of the guy nor did I ever see him on my much-watched television. Even if I had, I believe I would know the difference between how a local yokel mispronounces his own name and how a supposedly innovative company would expect their big brand name to be pronounced.

And, hell, I’m not even the President, who by now should know plenty about the significance of branding, let alone the importance of getting “funny names” right.

misslizzi on March 24, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Our great leader does not bother with facts, reading bills, making decisions, focusing on problems(or anything at all come to that). He just gets up there and talks, talks,talks, talks, talks, talks. All gravy and no meat.

jeanie on March 24, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Didn’t this dolt at least see Men In Black.

JackofNoTrades on March 24, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Do you mean TOTUS has never seen the movie Men in Black?

“The galaxy is on Orion’s belt”.

ladyingray on March 24, 2009 at 10:07 AM

This guy is a real dufus. A village has lost one of it’s idiots!!!!

RealDemocrat on March 24, 2009 at 10:01 AM

The village of Washington D.C. is an idiot sanctuary, it is populated with stray idiots from around the country.

thomasaur on March 24, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Obama needs a new TelePrompter before he butchers the word speed-OM-e-ter with speed-O-meter

Karmi on March 24, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Do you mean TOTUS has never seen the movie Men in Black?

“The galaxy is on Orion’s belt”.

ladyingray on March 24, 2009 at 10:07 AM

I was thinking the exact same thing

JackofNoTrades on March 24, 2009 at 10:18 AM

This is a beautiful thread. Keep ’em coming. Maybe Bambi should be called GOTUS…Gaffmeister of the United States. He’s outdoing Joe Biden by about 10 to 1.

Jarhead68 on March 24, 2009 at 10:19 AM

He just gets up there and talks reads out loud, talks reads out loud, talks reads out loud, talks reads out loud , talks reads out loud , talks reads out loud . All gravy and no meat.

jeanie on March 24, 2009 at 10:06 AM

misslizzi on March 24, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Oh the shame of it all! He’s never seen Men in Black? (The galaxy is on Orion’s belt)

Brat on March 24, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Obama’s NUC-ULAR moment. This is gonna be fun to pass around at work.

oddjob1138 on March 24, 2009 at 10:25 AM

misslizzi on March 24, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Yeah! That too.

jeanie on March 24, 2009 at 10:25 AM

BTW, these criticisms of Oslime-a are perfectly legitimate. He won on the power of his image over substance and it’s only fair that his substance brings him down.

csdeven on March 24, 2009 at 10:29 AM

How many shares of Orion, said properly or not, do you think either Barack or Michelle own?

unclesmrgol on March 24, 2009 at 10:34 AM

He’s just got to get away from Bush’s failed pronunciations of the past.
Which he inherited, of course.

Dhuka on March 24, 2009 at 10:36 AM

That’s just a programming error…I think he’s an other world robot.

eaglesdontflock on March 24, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Punked by the Teleprompter.

LOL

Time to go to phonetic text. I wonder if the bad teleprompter will be demoted or just reprimanded.

fogw on March 24, 2009 at 10:51 AM

You people.

Here, for all these years, you have all been pronouncing Oreon wrongly. And now you are upset because the Smartust Prezident Evah has corrected you.

Ingrates!

jefferson101 on March 24, 2009 at 10:54 AM

there is a town in the state of Georgia named Cairo, but pronounced “KAy-ro” like the syrup.

kelley in virginia on March 24, 2009 at 8:58 AM

There’s a Versailles (Ver-sails), Kentucky. That one always got me.

RickZ on March 24, 2009 at 10:58 AM

The hits just keep coming ‘for the most intelligent administration, ever!”

GarandFan on March 24, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Greek mythology and astronomy, two topics that a well-educated person.

.

I will merely point out the favorite argument that leftist would use to explain this is that it is a white culture thing, so it is unfair to project expectations of knowledge of this material on a non-white person.

Just ask the Detroit City Council, who asked whites to leave a recent city council meeting.

Mutnodjmet on March 24, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Why do I have to watch ” American Idiot” instead of “American Idol”?

bloggless on March 24, 2009 at 8:10 AM

+10 How is it possible to be so humorous this early? I can barely remember my name.

Jvette on March 24, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Wow. The name of one of the most recognized constellations in the night sky (second to the Big Dipper, which is not a constellation) and he can’t pronounce it? I bet he thinks the Milky Way and Mars are just candy bars.

Over30 on March 24, 2009 at 11:20 AM

It could be that his pronunciation is only incorrect in that it is un-American…

(waiting for it…waaaiiiting for itt…)

bluelightbrigade on March 24, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Oh how Bush would have been ripped for the next 48 hours by the watchdog media.

jukin on March 24, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Just as in Seinfeld when everyone started to eat their Snickers bar with a knife and fork. I bet every elitist lib will be pronouncing Orion…Oar-ee-on from now on…

Caper29 on March 24, 2009 at 11:28 AM

There’s a Versailles (Ver-sails), Kentucky. That one always got me.

RickZ on March 24, 2009 at 10:58 AM

I live near Chili (Chi – lie), New York…

Caper29 on March 24, 2009 at 11:34 AM

The emperor has no clothes…and he must have just climbed out of a really cold swimming pool.

SKYFOX on March 24, 2009 at 11:36 AM

there is a town in the state of Georgia named Cairo, but pronounced “KAy-ro” like the syrup. They also have a town Vienna which is pronounced “VIE-anna” like the little sausages in a tin.

But Georgians are Americans. and its their state, after all.

kelley in virginia on March 24, 2009 at 8:58 AM

These regional pronounciations happen all over America. Here in New Hampshire, we have “Berlin” (pronounced “Burr-Lynn”, emphasis on the first syllable); “Lebanon” (pronounced “Leb-Uh-Nin”), and we have a tiny little village in the center of the state named “Gaza”, pronounced “Gay-Zuh”.

Maine has some similar examples.

Del Dolemonte on March 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Just as in Seinfeld when everyone started to eat their Snickers bar with a knife and fork. I bet every elitist lib will be pronouncing Orion…Oar-ee-on from now on…

Caper29 on March 24, 2009 at 11:28 AM

My all-time favorite in this regard was when the SF Chronicle published a story 20 years ago headed “Scientists Discover Rings Around Uranus.”

After a day or so of fumbling, the local television talking heads began pronouncing it “Youranus.”

Fun for all.

warbaby on March 24, 2009 at 11:48 AM

I am imagining that the audience wasn’t that large. Not large enough to span so far to the left and right. One reason to use the teleprompters is give the impression that the speaker is looking at and talking to whole width of the audience. I imagine that in this case he is looking at and talking to the walls on either side of the auditorium.

Would it kill the guy to read from a script. At least that way, when he looked up, he would look AT the audience.

Mallard T. Drake on March 24, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Why must we keep electing politicians that fell asleep in High School science class?

kurtzz3 on March 24, 2009 at 11:58 AM

The country is still blessedly rife with regional pronunciations. I grew up in Illinois, which has a Versailles pronounce Versayles, a Cairo pronounced Kayro, and a New Berlin pronounced New Burlin.

Missouri (Mizzoura) has a New Madrid pronounced New Mad-rid as well as several other examples, and Texans are proud to mangle Spanish with San Juhsinto and Lamb-passus.

Never heard of any Oareons, though.

warbaby on March 24, 2009 at 11:58 AM

“pronounced”, of course.

warbaby on March 24, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Cut him some slack.

Soetoro has been called an ore-RAY-oh all of his life.

ex-Democrat on March 24, 2009 at 12:08 PM

But Leno and Letterman and the rest of them can’t find anything to joke about re: Obama! Leftists all!

Christian Conservative on March 24, 2009 at 12:33 PM

To play devil’s advocate, there is a Lake Orion near Detroit, and it is pronounced “O-ree-un.” Of course, given the correction, that doesn’t matter in the end.

At least it’s not like the Blackbird spy plane where LBJ gaffed the RS-71 into SR-71 in a speech to look knowledgeable on defense matters (thus outing the program) – and then had DoD spend millions to go back and change the designation in all records and stationary so that his mistake escaped notice (Thanks for keeping it in the memoirs, Ben Rich!).

Blacksmith on March 24, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Barry thinks his brother-in-law lives in OAR-ee-GONE.

Christien on March 24, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Cut him some slack.

Soetoro has been called an ore-RAY-oh all of his life.

ex-Democrat on March 24, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Beauty.

warbaby on March 24, 2009 at 12:45 PM

I suggested that maybe, instead of gimmicks and technology, The Boss should read the speeches before he goes out to give them. We had a good laugh over that suggestion, then turned back to more realistic options.

— TOTUS

Socratease on March 24, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Um, is Obama so isolated that he doesn’t know he’s getting mocked for the teleprompters, or is he so dependent on them he can’t ditch them? If I was him I wouldn’t be seen in the same county as one of those now!

WHAT GIVES?

drunyan8315 on March 24, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Don’t know if it’s been commented in here, but this morning, President Obamuuuhhh sent a wakeup message to the shuttle astronauts. (paraphrase here) “I hear you’re travelling…um…17,000 miles an hour…………I hope you’re….um….using a…hands free phone…”

The One can’t even pull off a lame joke talking to international heroes.

bikermailman on March 24, 2009 at 1:20 PM

NASA shouldn’t let him speak to astronauts in space – regurgitating can be dangerous in weightless conditions.

drunyan8315 on March 24, 2009 at 1:23 PM

My guess is he’s addicted to them. There was one over the weekend where he was clearly looking back and forth at the audience instead of TOTUS, and he lost his place, had a helluva time getting back on track. Looked to me like he was trying to read it without looking like he was.

bikermailman on March 24, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Chimpy Bush? So you mean Bush is chimp-like? Fair game. How about “Barry the Talking Chimp?” Insensitive?

mr1216 on March 24, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Would it kill the guy to read from a script. At least that way, when he looked up, he would look AT the audience.

Mallard T. Drake on March 24, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Probably…kill him that is. He might strangle to death on his own stammering tongue. Not that that’s altogether a bad thing…at least he’d stop spending so much of my money.

Barb Dwyer on March 24, 2009 at 1:41 PM

I must be honest here… “Obamateurism of the Day” sounds stupid, and I can’t imagine looking at that phrase for 4 years.

DaveS on March 24, 2009 at 2:43 PM

I wonder how he pronounces the Big Dipper. Then again, with all the money he’s spending maybe he is the big dipper.

backwoods conservative on March 24, 2009 at 8:40 AM

That would be “THE BIG DIP”!! (As we used to say as kids when talking about a dork!)

Susanboo on March 24, 2009 at 3:14 PM

I’d like to point out that in the animated Star Trek episode “The Pirates of Orion”, William Shatner pronounces Orion exactly as does the president (who is alleged to be a closet Trekkie). BLAME CANADA!

Splinter on March 24, 2009 at 3:29 PM

I suggested that maybe, instead of gimmicks and technology, The Boss should read the speeches before he goes out to give them. We had a good laugh over that suggestion, then turned back to more realistic options.
– TOTUS

Socratease on March 24, 2009 at 1:09 PM

All HAIL TOTUS!!!

Seven Percent Solution on March 24, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Why must we keep electing politicians that fell asleep in High School science class?

kurtzz3 on March 24, 2009 at 11:58 AM


You think he went to science class?
Bet he was behind the gymnasium smoking grass! LOL!

Susanboo on March 24, 2009 at 3:42 PM

If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama

Every day since his inauguration has been a foul-up

blr2449 on March 24, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the similarity between how President Obama reads from the teleprompter and this video?

Unfit For The Internet on March 24, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the similarity between how President Obama reads from the teleprompter and this video?

Unfit For The Internet on March 24, 2009 at 3:55 PM

LOL! That’s how he sounds when he gives a speech without the teleprompter! “There’s, there’s, oh. Doh! Dooah!!”

Susanboo on March 24, 2009 at 4:08 PM

OAR-EEE-ON?

ORLY?

Chickyraptor on March 24, 2009 at 4:53 PM

He can’t pin this one on the TOTUS. Too bad it doesn’t speak as well as it scrolls.

unrealcitizen on March 24, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Orion,they get Obama’s clarification,the
last thing America needs is a cosmic war,

HA! This proves Obama is NOT a body-snatched mutant from the planet Orion!

Unless that’s exactly what THEY want you to Believe?

Is his plan also known as “To Serve Man”?

DSchoen on March 24, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Here in New Hampshire, we have “Berlin” (pronounced “Burr-Lynn”, emphasis on the first syllable)

There’s a New Berlin in Wisconsin that pronounces Berlin the same way.

Still, Obama mispronounced Orion and it’s telling that he clearly had no prep before making the comments as he displayed a lack of surety of who was who in addition to mispronouncing, repeatedly, the company name.

And to those who mentioned his irritating pronunciation of Pakistan, I add his way of saying Tollybon for Taliban. Ugh.

KittyLowrey on March 24, 2009 at 6:12 PM

As for nuclear…I get tired of the GWB bashing over that, too. This cite predates his presidency and demonstrates the point:

Many mispronounce nuclear

Ever since nuclear entered the national vocabulary (a hundred years after entering in the 1840s) it has been mispronounced by millions of educated and otherwise careful speakers, including scientists, lawyers, professors, and presidents of the United States. According to Newman, Dwight D. Eisenhower “could not get it right”; Jimmy Carter, who had been an officer aboard nuclear-powered submarines, pronounced it NOO-kee-ur; and Walter Mondale, in his 1984 bid for the presidency, repeatedly said NOO-kyuh-lur. “The word, correctly pronounced,” writes Newman, “somehow is too much for a fair part of the population, and education and experience seem to have nothing to do with it.” In The Diabolical Dictionary of Modern English, R.W. Jackson dryly echoes that sentiment by defining nuclear simply as “nucyaler.”

KittyLowrey on March 24, 2009 at 6:16 PM

I’m still annoyed about his pronunciation of “Pakistan”

Scrappy on March 24, 2009 at 6:27 PM

I supose Obama has never looked at constellations in the night sky…that’s sad. You do see Orion from Hawaii? I’m sure you do from California… Indonesia?

Obama was never a Boy Scout. It seems like he could have benefited from that kind of community organizing… flag ceremonies, etc. Obama missed an important part of growing up in America.

petunia on March 24, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Maybe HAL is part of a vast right wing conspiracy.

bloggless on March 24, 2009 at 8:01 AM

I’m absolutely certain that HAL was (is?) a Democrat, a power hungry Democrat.

petunia on March 24, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Obama tried the nicotine patches, but he couldn’t keep them lit.

BacaDog on March 24, 2009 at 10:00 AM

And the gum burned his tongue.

petunia on March 24, 2009 at 7:02 PM

He’s an id-eye-it.

Daggett on March 24, 2009 at 8:28 PM

I supose Obama has never looked at constellations in the night sky…that’s sad. You do see Orion from Hawaii? I’m sure you do from California… Indonesia?

I think Orion is most visible from the Northern Hemisphere; I’m wondering if Hawaii and Indonesia are too far south? Not that it matters much, as it’s a pretty major constellation in general…

Obama was never a Boy Scout. It seems like he could have benefited from that kind of community organizing… flag ceremonies, etc. ………………
petunia on March 24, 2009 at 6:40 PM

When you posted the flag reference, were you thinking of the irony of that picture of Obama’s pal standing on the flag?

Red State State of Mind on March 24, 2009 at 10:03 PM

Am I correct in assuming it is pronounced O-Ryan, kind of like O-Bah-ma? Wow, who’da thunk it.

I could understand his gaffe if he pronounced his name “abba-ma”, but this is just STOOPIT.

Laura in Maryland on March 24, 2009 at 11:50 PM

I know some C students that are smarter than this brilliant idiot. God this country is in trouble.

apco on March 25, 2009 at 1:38 AM