Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on December 7, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Can you name the national motto? If you pick “In God We Trust,” then you’re doing better than our President. Barack Obama attempted to explain how our national motto supports diversity, but only could make that argument by getting the motto wrong:

Last month, while speaking at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Mr. Obama was trying to stress the similarity of the U.S. and Indonesia and said “it is a story written into our national mottos.”

“In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum — out of many, one,” he said, then compared it to the Indonesian motto, “Bhennika Tunggal Ika — unity in diversity.”

The official motto of the U.S., designated by a 1956 law, is “In God We Trust.” E pluribus unum is the motto on the Great Seal of the United States, and appears on the ribbon held in the beak of the eagle that dominates the obverse side of the seal.

He misquoted the Declaration of Independence twice, and now Obama gets the national motto wrong.  Do high schools in Hawaii actually teach civics?  And can anyone in the White House do basic fact-checking research on Obama’s speeches before he delivers them?

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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Do high schools in Hawaii actually teach civics?

I’m starting to believe they teach Marxist civics.

mizflame98 on December 7, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Allah Akbhar!

OmahaConservative on December 7, 2010 at 8:09 AM

Be kind to Obama. He’s still learnin’ to be proud of America. His wife only learned a couple years ago.

Electrongod on December 7, 2010 at 8:09 AM

D’oh!

cmsinaz on December 7, 2010 at 8:09 AM

And can anyone in the White House do basic fact-checking research on Obama’s speeches before he delivers them?

apparently it is not a part of the SOP…

cmsinaz on December 7, 2010 at 8:12 AM

A true product of Affirmative Action. Is this really surprising?! Well I guess since he is President of the United States, IT SHOULD BE!

trader67 on December 7, 2010 at 8:12 AM

I’m surprised he didn’t come up with “To Each according to his needs…

JimK on December 7, 2010 at 8:13 AM

0bama is just a garden variety fool.
You could probably get ten QOTD’s if you really searched…

OmahaConservative on December 7, 2010 at 8:14 AM

I’m surprised he didn’t say ‘Boldly go where no man has gone before’

Limerick on December 7, 2010 at 8:14 AM

He misquoted the Declaration of Independence twice, and now Obama gets the national motto wrong. Do high schools in Hawaii actually teach civics?

An American citizen by birth, but not an American.

And I doubt any high school teaches civics or American history any more. They’re too busy teaching “diversity” and “climate change” and “self-esteem.”

rbj on December 7, 2010 at 8:15 AM

…or “Lean Forward.”

apostic on December 7, 2010 at 8:16 AM

You can’t fix stupid.

30 pcs of silver on December 7, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Ed writes:

He misquoted the Declaration of Independence twice, and now Obama gets the national motto wrong. Do high schools in Hawaii actually teach civics?

Apparently not. Neither do madrassas in Indonesia.

BigAlSouth on December 7, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Scooter doesn’t even know how many states America has. It’s no surprise that he screwed this up.

kingsjester on December 7, 2010 at 8:18 AM

…or “Lean Forward.”

apostic on December 7, 2010 at 8:16 AM

+1

cmsinaz on December 7, 2010 at 8:18 AM

OT: Let’s not forget Pearl Harbor.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 7, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Qayle misspells one word, Ford stumbles out of a jet, Reagan takes a nap, Bush says “nuculear”, Palin say anything, and all of those get major responses…skits on the tv shows for years.
This goofball makes a mistake every week, a major gaff each week and the tv pundits never hear it.

right2bright on December 7, 2010 at 8:20 AM

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-07/teens-in-u-s-rank-25th-on-math-test-trail-in-science-reading.html

Time for the Department of Education to get shut down; allow our educational system to be released into the private sector before it’s too late. This lame duck pig headed stupid man who currently holds the most powerful position in the world is proof positive that our educational system must be dismantled and overhauled by men/woman in the private sector who have the correct motives to create something special for our youth.

Keemo on December 7, 2010 at 8:20 AM

At least he didn’t say “Yes We Can.”

Kafir on December 7, 2010 at 8:21 AM

And all this time I thought “I WON”, was the new national motto.

Rovin on December 7, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Silly rabbit, facts just get in the way.

EliTheBean on December 7, 2010 at 8:23 AM

You can’t fix stupid.

30 pcs of silver on December 7, 2010 at 8:17 AM

“Yes we can!” Just like we fixed stupid in the House last November.

Oldnuke on December 7, 2010 at 8:23 AM

On behalf of the people of the State of Illinois, I wish to apologize to the rest of the nation for inflicting this bumbling oafish moronic idiot on the rest of the country.

In 2012, we will correct that foolish error.

pilamaye on December 7, 2010 at 8:25 AM

And all this time I thought “I WON”, was the new national motto.

Rovin on December 7, 2010 at 8:22 AM

It was — until early last November. ;)

apostic on December 7, 2010 at 8:29 AM

right2bright on December 7, 2010 at 8:20 AM

correctamundo

*crickets chirping*

cmsinaz on December 7, 2010 at 8:29 AM

Time for the Department of Education to get shut down; allow our educational system to be released into the private sector before it’s too late. This lame duck pig headed stupid man who currently holds the most powerful position in the world is proof positive that our educational system must be dismantled and overhauled by men/woman in the private sector who have the correct motives to create something special for our youth.

Keemo on December 7, 2010 at 8:20 AM

On the education reality, Bill Bennett said this morning that the bottom 5% of teachers, (the worst of the worst), are dragging the system down. He said, if we got rid of the bottom 5%, our world ranking would soar. The problem is, good luck changing anything with the teacher’s unions not willing to accept this glaring deficiency.

Rovin on December 7, 2010 at 8:30 AM

I don’t think he made a mistake, he deliberately misquoted so as not to mention God.

OldEnglish on December 7, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Like all progressive leftists, facts and history are changed to fit the narrative of the moment.

Look at Oliar’s personal history, look at the real climate temp history, all just inconvenient to the global control game plan.

It’s imperative that we gut national public education department and it’s marxist indoctrinators for the survival of our heritage. There are plenty of 30 somethings out there that believe our motto is whatever our national organizer says it is.

ontherocks on December 7, 2010 at 8:31 AM

I probably would’ve gotten that one wrong, too. To be honest.

S. Weasel on December 7, 2010 at 8:35 AM

You can’t fix stupid.

30 pcs of silver on December 7, 2010 at 8:17 AM
“Yes we can!” Just like we fixed stupid in the House last November.

Oldnuke on December 7, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Touché

30 pcs of silver on December 7, 2010 at 8:38 AM

I’m surprised he didn’t say ‘Boldly go where no man has gone before’

Limerick on December 7, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Probably best to leave Michelle out of this discussion. The visuals hurt…

Yoop on December 7, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Bing remembers Pearl Harbor. (Google does not.)

Wethal on December 7, 2010 at 8:26 AM

Google is run by lefty socialists.

OmahaConservative on December 7, 2010 at 8:42 AM

I probably would’ve gotten that one wrong, too. To be honest.

S. Weasel on December 7, 2010 at 8:35 AM

I would have guessed correctly….but it would have been a guess.

I can understand that “In God we trust,” is the official motto, but when referring to this:

E pluribus unum is the motto on the Great Seal of the United States

…what should it be called? I’m not sure saying “our motto” was really all that incorrect. (Maybe he should have said “our unum E pluribus mottos…” )

BlueCollarAstronaut on December 7, 2010 at 8:46 AM

Its no wonder libs dont understand American values, they dont know where they originated from or what sustains them, because they never bothered to care enough to look.

canditaylor68 on December 7, 2010 at 8:49 AM

I should clarify (I wish there were an edit). If the focus of Obama’s speech was on our official motto, and he got it wrong, it would be funny. If the focus was, instead, on the actual motto he used, and he called it the wrong thing (which, I’m not even sure was nec. wrong), then I don’t see this as much of a mistake.

To me, it reads like the latter occurred.

BlueCollarAstronaut on December 7, 2010 at 8:50 AM

You say “tomato”…

…and I say “two mottos”…

Shy Guy on December 7, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Does any school anywhere still teach civics?

NeighborhoodCatLady on December 7, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Are his toadies still so in awe of his awesomeness that they think he doesn’t need fact-checking?

Or

Are they sabotaging him? According to reports, he thoroughly believed that the Seal falling was sabatoge (and he didn’t use another Seal for *ages*, stumping on the campaign trail without one for at least a month).

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on December 7, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Shy Guy on December 7, 2010 at 8:50 AM

LOL! Maybe he’ll decree that “E pluribus unum” be the secondary motto, then he won’t be wrong!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on December 7, 2010 at 8:52 AM

I’m sure he was horrified to discover that “In God We Trust” is the motto of our country. Liberals and atheists are collecting donations to sue as we speak.

disa on December 7, 2010 at 8:53 AM

OldEnglish on December 7, 2010 at 8:30 AM

I think you may be onto something… just like the Declaration.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on December 7, 2010 at 8:54 AM

right2bright on December 7, 2010 at 8:20 AM

Kind of like: If an Obama makes a mistake in front of the MSM, did it really happen?

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on December 7, 2010 at 8:56 AM

And can anyone in the White House do basic fact-checking research on Obama’s speeches before he delivers them?

But it’s the smartest White House ever. /s

chemman on December 7, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Aslans Girl on December 7, 2010 at 8:54 AM

It may be worth checking for a pattern – he hates talking about anyone but himself.

OldEnglish on December 7, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Rovin on December 7, 2010 at 8:30 AM

It’s not the bottom 5%, it’s the bottom 95% that is the trouble.

chemman on December 7, 2010 at 9:06 AM

You can’t expect such
Detail from the leader of
The You Night Estates…

Haiku Guy on December 7, 2010 at 9:07 AM

I’m starting to believe they teach Marxist civics.

mizflame98 on December 7, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Watch this video…

http://www.morningstartv.com/oak-initiative/marxism-america

Keemo on December 7, 2010 at 9:09 AM

At least he didn’t say “Yes We Can.”

Kafir on December 7, 2010 at 8:21 AM

Of course, the Official Motto is Vero Possumus

Haiku Guy on December 7, 2010 at 9:11 AM

can anyone in the White House do basic fact-checking research on Obama’s speeches before he delivers them?

thats a joke…right?

dmann on December 7, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Our national motto should be “WTF Were We Thinking?!” until November, 2012.

Akzed on December 7, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Do high schools in Hawaii actually teach civics?

We know Rev. Wright does not teach the Bible, because Obama gets that wrong all the time to.

Obama learns only what is best for Obama and nobody else. He’s a taker not a giver.

multiuseless on December 7, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Aw, gee whiz, give ‘im a break…

They don’t teach this stuff in the madrassa

And…well, the guys at the White House who are supposed to be fact-checking? Not gonna find this stuff in Das Kapital.

coldwarrior on December 7, 2010 at 9:38 AM

It isn’t, “I’d like to teach the world to sing . . .”?

Pablo Snooze on December 7, 2010 at 9:43 AM

I have to cut him some slack, because I didn’t know which was which. I mean, hey, they’re both mottoes.

Ward Cleaver on December 7, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Barry still thinks like a typical Chicago politician. While Chicago’s “official” motto is “urbs in horto,” it’s real motto is “ubi est mea.” (Where’s mine?)

MayorDaley on December 7, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Hey man, get out his grill, all this trash just gets in the way of his house parties and vacations.

Alden Pyle on December 7, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Who says the Lame Duck Session can’t get anything Past?

The official motto of the U.S., designated by a 2010 law, is “In Obama We Trust.”

portlandon on December 7, 2010 at 9:50 AM

I think he is trying to get the motto changed to “In barack We Trust”. He didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag on that upcoming executive order.

DuctTapeMyBrain on December 7, 2010 at 9:52 AM

BlueCollarAstronaut on December 7, 2010 at 8:46 AM

Ward Cleaver on December 7, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Sorry, he is president of the United States! There some things he should know and know well enough to speak of them without aid of a teleprompter. This is one of them.

Ditkaca on December 7, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Living in Hawaii for 20 years and putting two boys through the Hawaii School system, I can tell you NO they do not teach civics and the history is defind as the liberal teachers/union what if viewed (as a struggle).

My wife (a naturalized citizen) and I insisted that they understood, First, how our country was formed, and secondly that upon graduation they were now grown adults vested with the right to vote and change the direction of their country. Especially, if it is not doing what the majority of their fellow citizen believe.

I have been trying to make Civics a required course through out high school and to insure they understand their responsibilties as a voting citizen given a test that is required to be passed for graduation.

MSGTAS on December 7, 2010 at 9:59 AM

At least he got the “Out of many, one” right. I Believe it was Bil Clinton who had it backwards and said “Out of one, many”.

jerseyman on December 7, 2010 at 10:01 AM

E pluribus unum is the motto for the 51th through 57th states.

Yea, my bad, that is racist.

dthorny on December 7, 2010 at 10:03 AM

I can’t even put blame on our public education system for this gaffe.

He is CEO of the United States! That position should require an in-depth knowledge of the US from beginning to present. If somebody told me today that I would begin a run for president in 2016, I would make sure I knew everything there is to know about the US and it’s citizens. If I’m asking the good people of the U.S. to elect me as their representative I better be prepared and know more than everybody.

It is sad that we don’t hold our public servants to much higher standards and requirements

Ditkaca on December 7, 2010 at 10:08 AM

It must have been lost in translation; when the typist took it from Crayon to teleprompter.

barnone on December 7, 2010 at 10:11 AM

At least he got the “Out of many, one” right. I Believe it was Bil Clinton who had it backwards and said “Out of one, many”.

jerseyman on December 7, 2010 at 10:01 AM

I thought Bill’s motto was “In plures, unus” or “Into many, One”.

barnone on December 7, 2010 at 10:14 AM

At least he got the “Out of many, one” right. I Believe it was Bil Clinton who had it backwards and said “Out of one, many”.

jerseyman on December 7, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Very close – it was Al Gore, Genius and Nobel Prize Winner ™.

inviolet on December 7, 2010 at 10:19 AM

I don’t think he made a mistake, he deliberately misquoted so as not to mention God.

OldEnglish on December 7, 2010 at 8:30 AM

So why didn’t he just say “In You Know Who We Trust?”

Oh wait, that would mean Voldemort, or in Obama’s case, George Soros.

pilamaye on December 7, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Do high schools in Hawaii actually teach civics?

“In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum — out of many, one,” he said, then compared it to the Indonesian motto, “Bhennika Tunggal Ika — unity in diversity.”

What does Hawaii have to do with this? Didn’t Obama go to school in Indonesia, which is why he knows the Indonesian motto better than the American motto?

If one of his aides corrects him about the motto, Obama will say, “Of course the American people trust me.”

Steve Z on December 7, 2010 at 10:54 AM

I thought Bill’s motto was “In plures, unus” or “Into many, One”.

barnone on December 7, 2010 at 10:14 AM

One cigar? :>)

Steve Z on December 7, 2010 at 10:55 AM

I thought Bill’s motto was “In plures, unus” or “Into many, One”.

barnone on December 7, 2010 at 10:14 AM

LOL

annoyinglittletwerp on December 7, 2010 at 10:57 AM

High school civic education?????

Ed, fer g%@’s sake, Obama is a ‘Constitutional Law scholar’.

Kinduv LAME to blame it on the high school education that he didn’t receive.

Sir Napsalot on December 7, 2010 at 11:07 AM

More proof that we need a Presidential Qualification Screening, which would include thorough Citizenship verification and basic knowledge from high school civics and history classes.

(People from the 57th state need not apply….)

landlines on December 7, 2010 at 11:22 AM

landlines on December 7, 2010 at 11:22 AM

We need some voter tests first.

IlikedAUH2O on December 7, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Obviously, history is what Barry says it is.

GarandFan on December 7, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Bammie’s basic schooling took place in Indonesia, and God knows what they taught him there, and in Hawaii in a touchy-feely liberal private school. He probably did a lot of finger-painting and basket weaving when Frank Marshall Davis was not molesting him.

Bammie’s education is a magnificent ivy-covered stone structure with a foundation cobbled together with rotting sticks and stones. It should have made him ‘unacceptable’, but unfortunately there’s no building code that applies to a presidential candidate’s background.

slickwillie2001 on December 7, 2010 at 11:37 AM

It may be worth checking for a pattern – he hates talking about anyone but himself.

OldEnglish on December 7, 2010 at 9:05 AM

While I agree that this is probably the case how could he or we tell if he hates it. He’s never talked about anyone else.

Oldnuke on December 7, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Sorry, he is president of the United States! There some things he should know and know well enough to speak of them without aid of a teleprompter. This is one of them.

Ditkaca on December 7, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Did you read my second post? I tried to clarify my point a bit, but I’m not sure how well I did. Maybe it’s equivication, but IF his point was to boldly proclaim our official motto, then you’re right: he blew it in an amateurish way.

If, on the other hand, his point was to emphasize “E pluribus unum” as an applicable principal, then I’m not so sure he did blow it. He could have been more specific, but, as a genuine question, what should he have called that motto? The Washington Times identifies the location of the motto on the Great Seal, but it doesn’t really give it an official identifying name that I can tell. Is casually referring to the motto on the official seal as “our motto” really that egregious?

BlueCollarAstronaut on December 7, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Comrade Barry has sold his soul to the communist devil many times over the years. The devil is now pounding on the door and he’s pissed. What ya gonna do now, Comrade Barry?….only the Teleprompter knows.

joe btfsplk on December 7, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Read and Learn from Al

“We can build a collective civic space large enough for all our separate identities, that we can be e pluribus unum — out of one, many.” Al Gore

Laurence on December 7, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Isn’t it awesome that we have a Constitutional scholar and a student of history in the White House?

malclave on December 7, 2010 at 3:37 PM

We know they don’t teach this stuff at Harvard when your studying to become a Constitutional expert.

chickasaw42 on December 7, 2010 at 6:53 PM

I thought Obowma’s motto is: It’s gonna hurt you more than it hurts me?

dthorny on December 7, 2010 at 8:31 PM

All I can think while reading this is obama is very lucky to not be Sarah Palin or GW Bush, the media and the left would tear him apart otherwise.

free on December 8, 2010 at 2:40 AM

I probably would’ve gotten that one wrong, too. To be honest.

S. Weasel on December 7, 2010 at 8:35 AM

Yeah…but you ain’ the Prez speakin’ in a foreign land. When I post something online that I’ve known for years…I sometimes get an urge to do a search to be sure. This comes of being wrong once in a while..cough….and regretting it all to hell later. And that’s just little ole me postin’ on the net, not the Prez representing us…where he began forming his negative opinion of the US.

Army Brat on December 8, 2010 at 3:17 AM

We know they don’t teach this stuff at Harvard when your studying to become a Constitutional expert.

chickasaw42 on December 7, 2010 at 6:53 PM

http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/the-truth-about-obamas-teaching-at-chicago-law-school/

* How Obama got a job teaching law: It was a political favor. The law school actually had turned down his application to teach there.
* What his academic title was: Obama was a “lecturer,” never a “professor,” not even an “adjunct” professor. The distinctions between/among these academic titles are important. A lecturer is someone who is hired on a year-by-year basis, without going through rigorous screening or possessing sterling academic credentials.
* How other faculty members regarded him: They thought him lazy and unqualified.
* What he taught at the law school: Although he was hired to teach Constitutional Law, Obama instead taught Machiavellian power politics à la Saul Alinsky, the Marxist ideologue who dedicated his book on community organizing, Rules for Radicals, to the fallen evil angel Lucifer.

Chicago Law Prof on Obama: “The Professors Hated Him because he was Lazy, Unqualified & Never Attended any of the Faculty Meetings”

Army Brat on December 8, 2010 at 3:24 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_national_motto

I’m a little less than enthusiastic to pile on on this one. You want the founders’ motto? or Eisenhower’s? Your choice.

I generally favor the founders.

Pablo Snooze on December 8, 2010 at 10:17 AM