Cairo: Tough crowd

posted at 2:15 pm on June 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When Barack Obama delivers a big speech, he’s accustomed to receiving a large demonstration of adulation.  Often, people faint at the mere sound of his voice.  In Cairo, however, while Obama laid a dollop of truth onto the crowd amid the usual quotient of pandering, the crowd gave Obama a new kind of response:

You want a tough crowd? Go to Cairo and deliver a speech on Muslims, Jews, terrorism and the possibilities of Mideast peace.

While President Barack Obama received some applause and cheers during his address at Cairo University Thursday, at other times his speech fell flatter than a piece of pita bread.

To no one’s surprise, the audience liked the positive references to Islam, including an interesting one regarding the Golden Rule that Obama’s domestic audience found a little puzzling.  However, when it came to Obama defending American positions, the crowd clammed up tighter than the Sphinx:

But other lines, such as when Obama vowed to protect the American people from violent attack, were met with stony silence.

“In Ankara, I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam,” Obama said. “We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security. (Silence from the crowd.) Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. (More silence.) And it is my first duty as president to protect the American people.” More silence.

And when the president talked about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, he was met with only stares from the audience. “But let us be clear,” the president said, “Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet Al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with.”

The first press reports tried to paint this as a rousing success on the ground.  Articles around the world made sure to mention that a few people shouted, “We love you!” from the crowd.  Washington Post reporter Howard Schneider’s Twitter feed gave the first hints that Obama didn’t fare well, noting that the crowd only offered light applause at the end.

Will that meme remain the final impression, or will Politico’s report gain any traction?  I’m betting on the former.


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Comment pages: 1 2

The only way Obama would have gotten an ovation from the Cairo audience would have been if he said the following:

“I am a Muslim. America is now part of the caliphate. Death to Israel.”

Actually, I have to give the narcissistic bastid credit for not doing that just to feel the love.

fleiter on June 4, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Uh-oh, Obama is going to have to make a choice: Does he want to stand by his support of America and Israel, or does he want to be loved around the world? President Bush chose the former. So far Obama has chosen the latter. Can he successfully flip-flop on this one?

Mallard T. Drake on June 4, 2009 at 4:44 PM

a few people shouted, “We love you!” from the crowd.

The guy yelling “We love you” was Rahm Emanuel.

Herb on June 4, 2009 at 4:45 PM

“And it is my first duty as president to protect the American people.”—-Boy I’ll bet that scared the He!! out of the Jihadis.I imagine OBL will be surrendering any day now and Iran will dismantle its Nuclear program just as quickly./sarc.

DDT on June 4, 2009 at 4:46 PM

a few people shouted, “We love you!” from the crowd.

The guy yelling “We love you” was Rahm Emanuel.

Herb on June 4, 2009 at 4:45 PM

You mean the guy who refused to shake hands with him in the receiving line?

unclesmrgol on June 4, 2009 at 5:13 PM

When the US President goes to muslimland and no one throws a shoe at him we have got some serious problems. Instead he gets a pimp-daddy gold chain.

Geochelone on June 4, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Did Obama salt the croud with the “we love you types, a typicial Donkey (and Obama) ploy?

burt on June 4, 2009 at 6:59 PM

In Arianna’s defense, she also thought her husband was straight.

Speedwagon82 on June 4, 2009 at 3:59 PM

She also once appeared on a national TV show in bed with Al Franken.

I couldn’t eat for a week after that one.

I always liked her on “Green Acres”, though. Even if she was allergic to hay.

Del Dolemonte on June 4, 2009 at 7:10 PM

The first press reports tried to paint this as a rousing success on the ground. Articles around the world made sure to mention that a few people shouted, “We love you!” from the crowd.

That’s all the press ever does. I really don’t think anything at all matters anymore; they’ve lost sight of the forest for the trees.

That is, the primary thing is that everyone love Obama. As they do. That has taken on a life of its own. That’s the main thing, the only thing to them. I think it is a mental illness.

As if someone became obsessed about the color of the walls in a school building, and that was all they ever cared about. The students are getting sick? The building’s on fire? WHO CARES! Shut up! What about the color! You MUST love the color! Isn’t that the greatest color you’ve ever seen?

At this point, that’s what they live for. Loving Obama. Nothing else. NOTHING. They’ve really lost their minds.

Alana on June 4, 2009 at 7:37 PM

(No, I don’t mean color in any racial sense.)

Alana on June 4, 2009 at 7:37 PM

0 said:

Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children.

Hmmmm? Could have fooled me. Did I miss something? Is he flip-flopping or just lying?

PrincipledPilgrim on June 4, 2009 at 9:56 PM

PrincipledPilgrim on June 4, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Right on brother, Right On.

redneck hippie on June 4, 2009 at 10:34 PM

He just doesn’t get it.

“Peace” to a Muslim means something very different than to a Westerner. “Peace” to a Muslim is when all are Muslim. Different cultures will understand certian words very differently. The fact that he thinks the whole world will understand him and his vision of how the world should be shows what an arrogant self indulged prick he really is.

MichiganMatt on June 5, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Comment pages: 1 2