Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on October 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama will bow to Japanese emperors and Saudi kings, but he balks at … putting a handkerchief on his head? The White House wants to show that it’s committed to a close relationship with India and has been looking for ways to symbolize it during his upcoming visit to the world’s largest democracy.  One of the most obvious options is a visit to the Golden Temple at Amritsar, a site held sacred by members of all faiths in the multireligious country.  But it has one problem:

But the United States has ruled out a Golden Temple visit, according to an American official involved in planning. Temple officials said that American advance teams had gone to Amritsar, the holy city that is the site of the temple, to discuss a possible visit. But the plan appears to have foundered on the thorny question of how Mr. Obama would cover his head, as Sikh tradition requires, while visiting the temple.

“To come to golden temple he needs to cover his head,” said Dalmegh Singh, secretary of the committee that runs the temple. “That is our tradition.”

Mr. Obama, a Christian, has struggled to fend off persistent rumors that he is a Muslim, and Sikhs in the United States have often been mistaken for Muslims.

Oh, please.  How difficult is it to comply?  Easier than giving a deep waist bow to a foreign potentate, as it happens:

Visitors to Sikh temples, known as gurudwaras, are required to cover their heads and remove their shoes. Baseball caps are not considered appropriate. Sikh scriptures require that men tie a piece of cloth on their heads, not simply put on a hat that can be easily taken off, because the act of tying has spiritual significance. Most non-Sikh visitors tie on kerchiefs sold by vendors outside the temple.

So he would rather insult his hosts — who have already reacted to Obama’s decision with dismay — than risk having a picture taken of him wearing a kerchief tied around his head?  It could have been a good opportunity to point out the difference between Muslims and Sikhs, although truthfully his visit to the Golden Temple would likely have entirely escaped notice here in the US.  Instead of providing leadership, Obama has once again made it all about himself.

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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Better keep him away from the Wailing Wall, too…

Oh wait… NEVERMIND!!

Khun Joe on October 21, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Instead of providing leadership, Obama has once again made it all about himself.

not surprised at all…pathetic really

cmsinaz on October 21, 2010 at 8:11 AM

Can’t bring a do-rag from the US?

Wethal on October 21, 2010 at 8:13 AM

although truthfully his visit to the Golden Temple would likely have entirely escaped notice here in the US.

would have been a 30 second mention on the evening news if that…

cmsinaz on October 21, 2010 at 8:13 AM

Ready to lead on Day 1! Whatevs.

30 pcs of silver on October 21, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Let’s see…he’d be in India, which is overwhelmingly Hindu, and by covering his head we’d think he was a Muslim? A bit sensitive, isn’t he? You’d think that a religion like Sikhism, which advocates community service, would be a draw for someone like O.

Beaglemom on October 21, 2010 at 8:15 AM

If this is indeed the reason why he’s not visiting this temple, and this temple is of great importance (I have no idea) and would be a good diplomatic move, then Obama is lame for not covering his head.

visions on October 21, 2010 at 8:17 AM

While on a trip to Prague Czechoslovakia we visited the Jewish Quarter and went into the Synagogue. All the men in our tour group had to put a Yamika on their heads. It was done out of respect for the Jewish Religion and their traditions. No one was offended nor did anyone think for one minute that the guys religious faith changed while wearing it. The experience however changed a lot of people in the group. Something I’ll never forget.

milwife88 on October 21, 2010 at 8:19 AM

and Sikhs in the United States have often been mistaken for Muslims.

really? highly doubtful imho

cmsinaz on October 21, 2010 at 8:19 AM

He repeatedly leaves Creator out when he quotes The Declaration of Independence.

He can’t bring himself to step foot in church.

He won’t put a cloth on his head to visit an Indian temple.

The man sure seems to have some issue with the concept of a higher power.

Disturb the Universe on October 21, 2010 at 8:21 AM

Better keep him away from the Wailing Wall, too…

Oh wait… NEVERMIND!!

Khun Joe on October 21, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Google images: obama kotel

Something’s screwy.

Shy Guy on October 21, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Too bad Rahm’s not in the White House any more, Barack could have borrowed one of his old yarmulkes. Certainly would have both solved and created problems at the same time (Maybe Axelrod still has one lying around from his New York City days…)

jon1979 on October 21, 2010 at 8:23 AM

really? highly doubtful imho

cmsinaz on October 21, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Several cases after 9/11.

Shy Guy on October 21, 2010 at 8:23 AM

He could wear his bicycle helmet, that has a strap.

Cindy Munford on October 21, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Several cases after 9/11.

Shy Guy on October 21, 2010 at 8:23 AM

i stand corrected…thanks

cmsinaz on October 21, 2010 at 8:25 AM

During his ’08 campaign that never ended, Obama carried a small idol in his pocket, also thanking the priest in India for the life size idol and ceremony giving it life of the Hindi god of success and auspicious beginnings, Lord Ganesha.

So how might that possibly play in with the egotistical black liberation theology Marxist trumping Christian Obama?

Also, refusing to tie his head with a scarf proves how thoroughly Obama hates American rednecks.

Obama may as well wear his own Muslim headdress that he’s already been photographed wearing AT A RELIGIOUS RITUAL CELEBRATION before campaigning for potus.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 8:29 AM

I went to a couple of mosques in Turkey. I covered my head and took off my shoes. It doesn’t make me a Muslim when I did that.

The President is a moron.

mjk on October 21, 2010 at 8:30 AM

He might have other reasons to avoid the site:
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/11/18/tarek-fatah.aspx

Phoenician on October 21, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Thin skin.

loudmouth883 on October 21, 2010 at 8:33 AM

Sikhs are not Muslim, anyway.

They managed to merge Hindi with Muslim respect. When I read of their theology, I was felt a reverence for their concept of God.

If Obama wanted to prove a few things, that he’s NOT Muslim, that he IS a unifier, then he’d certainly honor the fact that Sikhs have managed to merge the seeming impossible, and attempt to respect publicly that extraordinary feat.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 8:35 AM

and Sikhs in the United States have often been mistaken for Muslims.
really? highly doubtful imho

cmsinaz

Shortly after 9-11, a Mesa AZ Sikh gas station owner was shot by a nut case who thought he was a mooslim. According to many of my Sikh friends, mistaken identity is not all that uncommon.

Crusader Rabbit on October 21, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Maybe he can borrow a “Black Panther” doo rag from Eric Holder?

glockomatic on October 21, 2010 at 8:41 AM

OT: NAACP finds Tea Partiers racist.

I found this ironic but the NAACP’s president’s name is Ben Jealous. No sh!t.

milwife88 on October 21, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Mr. Obama, a Christian, has struggled to fend off persistent rumors that he is a Muslim, and Sikhs in the United States have often been mistaken for Muslims.

No he’s not, and no he hasn’t. Until it became politically expedient for him to pretend to be a Christian, he was dismissive of any queries about his religion.

His words, his actions, and his beliefs DO NOT bear out any claim to Christianity.

AubieJon on October 21, 2010 at 8:43 AM

Crusader Rabbit on October 21, 2010 at 8:36 AM

thanks…did not hear about that…

cmsinaz on October 21, 2010 at 8:43 AM

Seriously, there has to be some kind of headgear that he could find that would fit the bill of both presidential and acceptable to his hosts. Take a little time and figure it out, most brilliant person in the entire world.

Cindy Munford on October 21, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Has anybody started a petition yet, requesting the President’s immediate resignation?

WordsMatter on October 21, 2010 at 8:45 AM

He probably fears another embarrassing picture of him making the rounds on the internet — like that one of Barry in the safety helmet riding on the girly bike, in which he looked like such a pathetic dork (and which Drudge contrasted to the shirtless pic of Russia’s well-muscled KGB thug Putin flexing his pecs); or that one of Barry in his mom jeans, throwing out that lame, limp-wristed pitch in the MLB game. Put a shot of Barry in a head scarf next to pictures like those, and you’d start to see a theme — and not a flattering one for Barry.

AZCoyote on October 21, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Anybody remember this scene featuring Eddie Murphy in “The Golden Child”….

I want the knife….please!

this OOTD made me think of that classic scene.

ted c on October 21, 2010 at 8:46 AM

Phoenician on October 21, 2010 at 8:31 AM

That’s along the lines of what I was thinking too. Don’t offend anyone – especially the RoP.

And if the visit to the Golden Temple was an act to show respect to the religions of Indo-Canadians, then why did PM Harper not visit the city of Banaras that is holy to Hindus or to the shrine in Ajmer that is sacred to Muslim Indians?

Plus I gotta admit, the photo op of Harper in the head covering and no shoes isn’t the best either.

forest on October 21, 2010 at 8:47 AM

Phoenician, excellent link regarding Canadian reasons.

In India’s 60 years as a country, numerous world leaders have visited that country, but other than Canadian prime ministers and one British, no one includes the Golden Temple on their itinerary. Bill Clinton did not visit the Temple nor did Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev or former Chinese Premier Zhou en-Lai. The leaders of India’s neighbouring countries Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka too have visited India, but none of them has felt the need to pay a visit to Amritsar.

Obama’s problem is that OBAMA SOUGHT OUT THE TEMPLE VISIT.

Very bad form, indeed, to ask for an invitation and then reject it when it comes as expected.

Obama, being the famous cosmopolitan international world traveler and persona, knew in advance of the required head covering.

Obama meant to cause an incident.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 8:48 AM

I want the knife….please!

this OOTD made me think of that classic scene.

ted c on October 21, 2010 at 8:46 AM

excellent…best scene in the movie :)

cmsinaz on October 21, 2010 at 8:53 AM

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Really!!!! He really is a disaster.

Cindy Munford on October 21, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Or, as they say in Amritsar, “क्या एक पूर्ण मूर्ख बनाना.”

It’d be different if they required Obama to wear a complete turban, grow a beard and carry the Sikh version of the Kukri before he could enter the Golden Temple.

But, c’mon, everyone I know who has been fortunate enough to visit Amritsar gets a piece of cloth tied to their head for what, about 10-20 minutes?

Wonder what Boy Wonder is going to do in Pakistan.

Visit the Gol Masjid, or the Jinnah, but only after washing his feet, puttin’ on his kufi, and rolling out his prayer rug? /

coldwarrior on October 21, 2010 at 9:03 AM

“Behead those who insult Sikhianitism!”

Akzed on October 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Only racists would want a picture of Obooba wearing funny clothes.

Akzed on October 21, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Can’t he just wear a doo rag.

You know, keep it real, dog.

Or a yammuka.

I’m sure the Muzzies would love that.

NoDonkey on October 21, 2010 at 9:08 AM

I hear John Kerry doesn’t wear that bunny suit anymore…maybe Obama can borrow that.

James on October 21, 2010 at 9:17 AM

It’s constitutional for him to visit the Golden Temple, but he won’t comment on the wisdom of doing so. OK, actually he IS commenting on the wisdom of it. It’s a beacon of interfaith multiculturism, the pride of India, and he’s not going, because, you know, that cloth on the head thing.

Paul-Cincy on October 21, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Actually I agree that its very unpresidential to put a hanky on your head. But in this case, I think it might be a good look.

katablog.com on October 21, 2010 at 9:24 AM

He could use material from Michelle’s skirt. He’s been hiding under it for a while anyway.

Mojave Mark on October 21, 2010 at 9:27 AM

He’s already been to a church once this year. No need to go again.

Kissmygrits on October 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Akzed on October 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Wouldn’t that be the motivational tune of Obama’s intent?

Leave the Sikhs out of criticisms leveled at this Ivy League lackluster elitist who can’t come up with a simple solution to his own request.

He could use material from Michelle’s skirt. He’s been hiding under it for a while anyway.

Mojave Mark on October 21, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Touché! That settles it.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 9:33 AM

As publicly known, Obama owns his own headdress and wouldn’t “need” a head hanky.

The point is that Obama knew exactly the requirements, and chose to make a public spectacle somehow to attempt to direct America’s public disregard towards Sikhs.

Divide and conquer, Obama’s only approach with political power.

Pakistan is a MUSLIM nation. Obama’s been bombing Pakistani MUSLIMS. This is Obama’s lame attempt to distract from reality with a convenient scapegoat targeting Sikhs, “proving” how efficiently Obama spreads his wealth of religious/political wisdom. WRONG! Obama wants to play an equal opportunity offender. Sick.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Why doesn’t he just borrow a babushka from Pelosi?

Brat on October 21, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Once again Monty Pyton has the solution, right Mr. Gumby

My brain hurts!

mechkiller_k on October 21, 2010 at 9:56 AM

The man sure seems to have some issue with the concept of a higher power

That’s because he thinks he is one.

Vera on October 21, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Maybe Linda McMahon could lend him one of those leather WWF masks that covers the whole head except mouth, nose and eyes, oh wait, I bet Moochelle has a black one for him at home without the eyes part!

dhunter on October 21, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Perhaps he could cover his head by sticking it where he usually has it…

twhfan on October 21, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Maybe it’s not really about the kerchief, as much as it’s about the fact that this is a holy religious place, for all faiths in the country.

I’ve really come to the conclusion Obama is an athiest, only believing of himself to be the messiah. Sucker bought his own hype. LOL He’s just tired of pandering to the ignorant religous types, and will avoid anything about it, as much as possible.

capejasmine on October 21, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice have both worn head scarves when requested to do so to respect customs in foreign lands. Obama has less class than Hillary Clinton?

Obama should consider himself fortunate to wear a head cloth. He deserves a sackcloth and ashes.

Steve Z on October 21, 2010 at 11:04 AM

I was thinking about one of those Monty Python kerchiefs, tied at the corners.

Maybe add a pair of suspenders with short pants? (second from right)

http://www.kcpt.org/about/images/monty_python.jpg

disa on October 21, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Sorry Barry, asshats aren’t acceptable.

justltl on October 21, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Instead of providing leadership, Obama has once again made it all about himself.

Is there anyone/anything else?

Schadenfreude on October 21, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Oh, please. How difficult is it to comply? Easier than giving a deep waist bow to a foreign potentate, as it happens

I wouldn’t do it either.

Well, maybe. But I’d cover my head with an American flag bandanna.

UltimateBob on October 21, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Mr. Obama, a Christian

They staged the whole trip just to get this line in.

The Expert Knows
http://theexpertsblog.blogspot.com

HotAirExpert on October 21, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Barry can send Joe in his place to tell the car/slurpee story with a slight Indian accent.
/

Christien on October 21, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Mr. Obama, a Christian, has struggled to fend off persistent rumors that he is a Muslim, and Sikhs in the United States have often been mistaken for Muslims.
No he’s not, and no he hasn’t. Until it became politically expedient for him to pretend to be a Christian, he was dismissive of any queries about his religion.

His words, his actions, and his beliefs DO NOT bear out any claim to Christianity.

AubieJon on October 21, 2010 at 8:43 AM

Absolutely agree with you, AubieJon. For a really good presentation of whether Obama is a Christian, go to this three-part program by Jack and Rexella Van Impe.

From ExposeObama.com:

Internationally known evangelists Jack and Rexella Van Impe recently dedicated an entire program to the religion of Barack Obama. You can watch the October 9, 2010, version of “Jack Van Impe Presents” below in three parts:

http://www.exposeobama.com/2010/10/17/video-of-the-day-intl-televangelists-question-obamas-religion/

GrannyDee on October 21, 2010 at 2:31 PM

It would be most fitting if he wore a US Army garrison cap from the WWII – Korean war era. Us old vets would appreciate it. It has a nickname that still makes me smile.

gbear on October 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM