Maybe someone at the White House needs to keep Barack Obama away from the cameras, or at least away from the television talk shows. In an attempt to energize young voters for the midterms, Obama appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but apparently wasn’t prepared to get a couple of tough questions. Before Obama knew it, he had contradicted himself on filibusters and admitted that ObamaCare was a Trojan horse for further government control of health care, but that wasn’t the worst of it. When Stewart rebuked him for doing a George Bush imitation, Obama switched off and impersonated Pee Wee Herman instead:
“In fairness, Larry Summers did a heck of a job,” he continued, using the same infamous phrase his predecessor, Republican President George W. Bush, used to describe the discredited former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“You don’t want to use that phrase, dude,” Stewart said.
“Pun intended,” Obama replied.
Pun? Huh? So Obama really intended to throw Larry Summers under the bus? As Jonah Goldberg points out, there was no pun involved, only a President who got blindsided and clumsily attempted to make it look as though he was in on the joke:
What’s interesting — and obvious by my lights — is that Obama barely even noticed the “dude.” He was stung by the fact that Stewart — and the audience — clearly busted the president saying something politically very stupid. Saying that Summers did a “heckuva job” — on the Daily Show! — was a real blunder. Obama is clearly embarrassed that he got busted saying it. And rather than laugh with the audience and at himself he says, entirely unconvincingly, “pun intended.”
No it wasn’t. For the record, it wasn’t even a pun
But Obama’s ego couldn’t let him take it on the chin. So he in effect said “I meant to do that” with that “pun intended” line. It was defensive and lame.
The New York Daily News caught the moment in the appearance it called “dumb” and “diminishing” to Obama’s presidency. I’m wondering just how much more it can possibly diminish past the Pee Wee League.
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.
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