Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on May 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

One of the first rules that speakers and writers learn is to avoid absolute terms like always, never, nothing … and everything. Heck, parents learn that lesson when their kids get to the earliest ages of reason and turn into miniature Clarence Darrows, where every day is the Scopes trial. Barack Obama fell into that trap in yesterday’s presser while trying to defend himself against charges that the White House has been slow to respond to the Gulf oil spill.  He insisted that the government was doing everything possible to mitigate the damage, a point Jake Tapper challenged:

JAKE TAPPER: You say that everything that could be done is being done.  But there are those in the region and industry experts who say that’s not true.  Governor Jindal obviously had this proposal for a barrier.  They say that, if that had been approved when they first asked for it, they would have 10 miles up already.  There are fishermen down there who want to work, who want to help, haven’t been trained, haven’t been told to go do so.  There are industry experts who say that they’re surprised the tankers haven’t been sent out there to vacuum, as was done in ’93 outside Saudi Arabia.  And then, of course, there’s the fact that there are 17 countries that have offered to help, and it’s only been accepted from two countries, Norway and Mexico. How can you say that everything that can be done is being done with all these experts and all these officials saying that’s not true?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, let me distinguish between — if the question is, are we doing everything perfectly out there, then the answer is absolutely not.  We can always do better.

No, the statement Obama made was that they were doing everything, not everything perfectly.  And they’re not, as Jake inconveniently pointed out on national TV.  Obama still hasn’t learned to avoid overstatements and hyperbole.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com 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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This sort of stuff happens all the time. ;)

apostic on May 28, 2010 at 8:09 AM

No, the statement Obama made was that they were doing everything, not everything perfectly.

Right. Our Community-Agitator-in-Chief is a pro at obfuscating difficult questions.

petefrt on May 28, 2010 at 8:10 AM

at lesaast we did get the important stuff accomplished…like honoring the Duke BB team…that went off perfectly

cmarceron on May 28, 2010 at 8:10 AM

I think the bigger Obamateurism is that while he was speaking about how it was working..the fact is ..they had stopped the top kill for over 12 hours and it wasnt working…

is that really being on top of it?

cmarceron on May 28, 2010 at 8:15 AM

he does not have ANY idea what he is doing…never led, never managed, never accomplished anything.
There is no righting this ship…it’s going down…
The guarantee is he does not have the humility to learn…that’s the killer

winston on May 28, 2010 at 8:17 AM

But he’s the smartest POTUS EVAH!!!!

ladyingray on May 28, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Captain Ed to get a nasty twitter from Tapper in 5..4..3..2..1..

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 8:20 AM

Geez Ed, don’t you get it? OBAMA is doing everything he can, it’s OTHER PEOPLE who are the screw-ups. Do I have to explain everything to you?

PackerBronco on May 28, 2010 at 8:26 AM

Open Mouth. Insert Foot. Repeat.

DuctTapeMyBrain on May 28, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Everything Obama says is a lie.

Daggett on May 28, 2010 at 8:32 AM

I think the bigger Obamateurism is that while he was speaking about how it was working..the fact is ..they had stopped the top kill for over 12 hours and it wasnt working…

is that really being on top of it?

cmarceron on May 28, 2010 at 8:15 AM

Also, he had no idea of what was going on at MMS… whether the head of it had resigned or been fired.

petefrt on May 28, 2010 at 8:33 AM

I’m doing everything I can to avoid getting snared by this. Do you want to see my FIFA World Cup bracket picks? No? How about my Tour de France picks?

ya2daup on May 28, 2010 at 8:34 AM

Actually, yesterday’s presser was so full of OOTDs that Obumble could keep his mouth shut for the next month, and Ed would have plenty of material for the daily thread during the interim.

Chewy the Lab on May 28, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Our Community-Agitator-in-Chief is a pro at obfuscating difficult questions.

petefrt on May 28, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Only when he’s working off the telepromter. When he has to respond to questions that are not friendly, his responses demonstrate that he is completely unaccustomed to being the object of any serious challenge. He’s far too used to being able to say whatever he wants with no one questioning him. That finally has begun to end, so I expect to see him begin to do much worse than the pitiful performance he has put in so far. The next couple of years in the lead up to the 2012 elections should be veeeeerrrrrry interesting.

ProfessorMiao on May 28, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Obama, like every department at the Federal level, has top men handling the situation. Top. Men.

AnonymousDrivel on May 28, 2010 at 8:37 AM

The next couple of years in the lead up to the 2012 elections should be veeeeerrrrrry interesting.

ProfessorMiao on May 28, 2010 at 8:36 AM

As well as very scary.

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 8:38 AM

In following the classic Windy City style of King Richard the Younger, Obama should have just picked up his face and kept walking. What he should have said: Scrutiny? What else do you want? Do you want to take my shorts? Give me a break…Go scrutinize yourself! I get scrootened every day, don’t worry, from each and every one of you. It doesn’t bother me. This press thing is over.

MayorDaley on May 28, 2010 at 8:39 AM

Those who listened to Rush yesterday heard Stephen Baldwin’s phone call about Kevin Costner’s centrifuge machine.

Here it is, folks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx5XgUYDQ3k&feature=player_embedded

ProudPalinFan on May 28, 2010 at 8:39 AM

I would suggest a
Better Obamateurism:
No flags on the stage.

When was the last time you saw a Presidential Press Conference with no US flag in evidence? I would say, probably never.

Now, I am not a big fan of the Nancy Pelosi-style Wall O’ Flags, but a nice flag off to the side is not too much to ask of our Citizen of the World President.

Haiku Guy on May 28, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Tapper’s questions are nearly always on target.

AnninCA on May 28, 2010 at 8:50 AM

PBHO then proceeded to show Tapper the new outfit he had bought for the McCartney concert, “See it’s a black suit…black like oil…which means I’m concerned about the oil spill…yeah.”

Bishop on May 28, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Went to Gizmodo and aside from the tons of jokes online, somebody posted (I guess an engineer) of a centrifuge machine (don’t know if it is Costner’s).

http://www.cincmfg.com/How_our_Centrifuges_Work_s/108.htm

I am very dismayed at people’s negative remarks about Costner who is trying to do something good, BP is testing it, and there are already 30 ready to go. I guess American patience wants everything spotless as of tomorrow. It would be ideal, but if it works let the man do his business and help Jindal with his coast for starters!

ProudPalinFan on May 28, 2010 at 8:51 AM

The only thing Obama knows how to do is sort of campaign. That was a campaigning comment. And the fact he has been able to even do that is the media’s fault for not making him actually campaign in the first place, aka answer questions.

Deanna on May 28, 2010 at 8:53 AM

he does not have ANY idea what he is doing…never led, never managed, never accomplished anything.
There is no righting this ship…it’s going down…
The guarantee is he does not have the humility to learn…that’s the killer

winston on May 28, 2010 at 8:17 AM

That is so true. As the saying goes, with the mismanagement of the oil spill, Obama has once more screwed the pooch. The only thing holding his administration up is the sheer incompetance of the terrorists which is more or less matching his incompetance. When that luck runs out, there will be planes falling from the sky and cities in blaze and congressmen eager to impeach the charlatan.

docdave on May 28, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Obama, like every department at the Federal level, has top

men handling the situation. Top. Men.

AnonymousDrivel on May 28, 2010 at 8:37 AM

I think Obama needs to appoint a blue ribbon commission to study the problem, because y’know those are the best kind.

PackerBronco on May 28, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Gee, you mean the guy who continually snarkily mocks President Bush, isn’t perfect?

Well I’m sorry, but our media told us you would be perfect and you told us you would be perfect.

Seems to me, when a guy is touted as Babe Ruth and he turns out to be Mario Mendoza, someone has some ‘splainin’ to do.

NoDonkey on May 28, 2010 at 8:54 AM

You know what I don’t get?

Why do they have to do an Environmental Impact Study, before they dredge sand to protect the coast?

That’s what I don’t get.

I think, a three-year-old would come to the same conclusion as I do.

franksalterego on May 28, 2010 at 8:57 AM

“We can always do better.”

Let’s all make sure this “response timeline” is chronicled correctly so our dear lamestream media can’t change the historical events that unfolded.

‘Obama’s Katrina’: an Illustrated Timeline

From 2000 barrels a day to the latest estimate of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day, in one of the greatest ecological disasters in U.S. history, responsibility is almost dismissed by the liberal media with the lame excuse, “there’s just so much a president can do under these trying circumstances”.

Catastrophically, nightmares are in the eye of the publishers and their enabling writers.

We forgive you Mr. President. You’ve certainly met your limitations. (insert strong and deliberate sarc tag)

Rovin on May 28, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Here is my take. Obama was not prepared to get such questions. After all you don’t expect lapdogs to bark and bite. TBP was was running away. He was not able to give one composed answer. For a change yesterday I was proud of the Press. Even Helen Thomas gave him a kick in the butt.

antisocial on May 28, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Heh, I liked the second line in Tapper’s quote, perfectly riffing off a classic Obama locution: “There are those … who say…” Although Tapper, unlike Obama, followed that with specific references. Nice dig.

jwolf on May 28, 2010 at 9:00 AM

“See it’s a black suit…black like oil…which means I’m concerned about the oil spill…yeah.”

Bishop on May 28, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Coming soon: a black ribbon on his lapel to show that he’s down with the struggle to clean up and stuff.

ya2daup on May 28, 2010 at 9:01 AM

and after the greenies in the Press start to wake up to Bambi’s unmitigated disaster in the Gulf, the anti-war Press will start to rip him a new one.

Because no matter what your feelings about our presence in Afghanistan, it is very hard to point to any success.

kelley in virginia on May 28, 2010 at 9:03 AM

You know what I don’t get? Why do they have to do an Environmental Impact Study, before they dredge sand to protect the coast?

franksalterego on May 28, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Tradition!
And some paper pusher at the EPA / NOAA / Interior / where ever would have their undies get knotted up if they were bypassed for the sake of expediency. Got to protect their phony baloney jobs, y’know.

ya2daup on May 28, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Mark Steyn had him pegged: What he says sounds good when you first hear it but it curdles pretty quickly.

ncborn on May 28, 2010 at 9:14 AM

When was the last time you saw a Presidential Press Conference with no US flag in evidence? I would say, probably never.

Now, I am not a big fan of the Nancy Pelosi-style Wall O’ Flags, but a nice flag off to the side is not too much to ask of our Citizen of the World President.

Haiku Guy on May 28, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Go back to pictures and videos of last week’s graduation ceremony at West Point and try to find a flag. I think there might be one off to the side somewhere. Maybe one, at the US Military Academy!

PatMac on May 28, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Was that dear leader’s full answer to the question? He sounds as if he doesn’t have a clue as to the specifics asked by Tapper. He isn’t even interested in this matter and it shows. He just wants it to go away so he can continue stealing money from the haves and give to the havenots.

Kissmygrits on May 28, 2010 at 9:21 AM

I would like to hear more about what was offered and their history of success. The questions are does he care what happens down there, is he to proud to accept help, or is this just another crisis to exploit?

Cindy Munford on May 28, 2010 at 9:22 AM

not everything:

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/100279-mccarthy-obama-hasnt-returned-call-of-gulf-lawmaker

Shouldn’t that be one of the first priorities of a President? To talk to the lawmaker from that district?

journeyintothewhirlwind on May 28, 2010 at 9:23 AM

My question is why we aren’t accepting help from other countries? We always rush to aid other countries in times of need, and if ever there was a time of need for the US, this is it.

scalleywag on May 28, 2010 at 9:25 AM

The sheer incompetance of this administration is an amazing thing to watch. At even the worst inner-city public elementary school, Odamna would flunk recess, lunch and nap time. TOTUS would do a better job.

I weep for my country.

Crusader Rabbit on May 28, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Average I.Q., not “off the charts.”

I’ve been saying this since — dare I say — day one.

jeff_from_mpls on May 28, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Chewy the Lab on May 28, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Exactly what I thought when I saw the beginning of the thread.

Just can’t wait for the “official response” which we know will be released late tonight on the Sustak matter.

katablog.com on May 28, 2010 at 9:42 AM

He’s far too used to being able to say whatever he wants with no one questioning him.

This is the scary result of a hippie upbringing. Giggles was told over and over again from the day he was born how wonderful he is – from his hippie-dippie mom to his “typical white person” grandmother, to his affirmitive action college education, to his community organizer days, all the way up to now – without ever having to show anything for it simply because his father was black. He’s not the intellectual giant they keep trying to paint him as – he’s actually dumb as a box of rocks and about as mature as a three year old. And every day more and more people are waking up to that fact. Unfortunately things are going to get a lot worse before he’s gone.

With Giggles as a shining example of the permissive “no spaking, everybody gets a trophy” parenting so prevelant since the publication of the Dr. Spock book, I really fear for our country. We may survive Giggles. We won’t survive the next inexperienced, never-allowed-to-fail narcisist in the oval office – because the next one is going to be that much worse.

crazy_legs on May 28, 2010 at 9:43 AM

For me….. the question now is….why the lies? Why aren’t they doing everything possible? What’s going on? The message is loud, and clear coming from the Obama administration. We aren’t cleaning this up, and we don’t give a crap what everyone thinks. So why are they being this way? They love ecological, and enviromental disasters? Are they really THAT stupid, that they think passing this off to Bush is going to work?

capejasmine on May 28, 2010 at 9:45 AM

When was the last time you saw a Presidential Press Conference with no US flag in evidence? I would say, probably never. Haiku Guy on May 28, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Dude! They haven’t finished sewing Obama’s face on the flag yet. (I hear the ears are a problem)

katablog.com on May 28, 2010 at 9:45 AM

If only He could have suggested to BP to plug the damn hole on Day One™, all this could have been avoided. Harvard degrees with backgrounds in law and community organizing just aren’t what they used to be.

AnonymousDrivel on May 28, 2010 at 9:51 AM

As usual, Obama acted stupidly.

BitterClinger on May 28, 2010 at 9:52 AM

The Drudge closeup photo of ObaMao’s pointed finger with the caption, “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?” says it all about his supercharged ego.

onlineanalyst on May 28, 2010 at 9:53 AM

I think there is reality and Obama reality. In his mind Obama seems to live in a different country than the USA.

I think many people did not understand or fail to see that in his childhood Obama did not lead the life of most Americans and thus can not appreciate or understand America and the American way of life and culture and what is important to most Americans.

Obama’s formative childhood years were living in Indonesia and if not there in far away from the US mainland in exotic, hula and pineapples, Hawaii. Hawaii is not America. (I’ve been there a few times – it is like being in a tropical foreign country filled with white and asian tourists where everyone just happen to speak English. They have their own Hawiian traditions, holidays (King Kamehameha I Day) and culture that is not very “Moms apple pie & 4th of July American”.)

Because of his childhood he never really got to see, live or understand the American way of life. His first exposure to mainland USA was when Obama went to college and he gravitated to the big, ugly inner cities and hung out with the left-wing, anti-US groups of people.

Obama’s America is not the same America as the rest of us see and know.

albill on May 28, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Any over/under on how many days til the next presser?
Because if it’s before November he may talk himself out of a job, with a significant turnover in congress and a potential for impeachment for low crimes and matching brainpower.

ontherocks on May 28, 2010 at 10:11 AM

I just happened to tune in to Hardball last night and Chris Matthews was practically spitting in anger at Obama over this. Even poor Howard Fineman was forced to admit that the lights are on but nobody’s home at the White House. I was really shocked. He’s lost a good chunk of his media support now. Add to that a great inside-the-Beltway scandal and coverup brewing on the Sestak thing, and you have the makings of a big dam breaking this week.

rockmom on May 28, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Turns out that the guest lecturer doesn’t even lecture well. I bet lots of college students drooled on their desks when Obama stood at the podium.

I mean this with no sarcasm: I think his best success is with his girls. I think he’s a great dad. He could have stayed with that, healing a lot of the bruises in his life. Instead he had to bring a boatload of baggage and a very brittle ego into the Oval Office.

Grace_is_sufficient on May 28, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Let’s face it. After 300+ days of no press conferences, Barry thought everything ‘was still the same’. He’d lead the whores reporters by the nose, they would follow.

Unfortunately for Barry, the reporters didn’t follow the script.

So when’s the next presser? 1 1/2 years from now? 2?

GarandFan on May 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Everything he says is bullsh*t.

LarryG on May 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM

It is as if one’s house is on fire and burning to the ground while the firemen gather to discuss fire prevention and new codes! Obama is a fool surrounded by fools who fail in every matter except stealing everything they can from “evil” Americans while the black muslim brotha’ is in the white house! The EPA is the gestapo arm of the feds and is only about trying to extort money from American enterprise to be used for reparations. Look how utterly Impotent they are when a real disaster occurs. Eliminate the EPA, Obama, All Communist Democrats in November. Obama is a bigger threat to this nation than the terrorists or a dozen oil spills!

Marco on May 28, 2010 at 11:24 AM

As usual, Obama acted stupidly on Day One™.

BitterClinger on May 28, 2010 at 9:52 AM

ya2daup on May 28, 2010 at 11:29 AM

You know what I don’t get?

Why do they have to do an Environmental Impact Study, before they dredge sand to protect the coast?

This should win the No-Brainer of the Year Award!

Does anyone really think that moving some sand around could damage the environment more than all that oil in the marshes?

Dredge the d@mn sand, protect the d@mn coast, and then to a study on how to clean up sand, before the oil gets there!

To quote a prominent figure during the Katrina disaster, someone is stuck on stupid, and it’s not George W. Bush.

Steve Z on May 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM

They don’t want to clean up the coast or stop the damage. Remember how liberals love crisis? This one will allow them to redistribute a lot more wealth and pass all sorts to “green” legislation.

katablog.com on May 28, 2010 at 4:10 PM

One would think, given his God like capability of lowering the tides, they would hover him from Marine One. With one mighty blast from his Greek God like sculpted buttocks he could, in Cecil B De mil fashion, carve out a perfect hole in the Gulf so that BP workers could be on the sea floor to cap off the well.
Sorry, he’s not living up to the hype, go figure… We need Reagan!

M-14 2go on May 28, 2010 at 9:49 PM