Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on December 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

I’m including this in the OOTD annals because it qualifies and it got a few e-mail nominations, but it’s also not a bad moment for President Obama, either. He gave a speech at the Kennedy Center for their Kennedy Honors presentation and stumbled twice over the same word — “superfluous.” Instead of pretending nothing was wrong, though, Obama tried using a little humor:

Look, everyone who speaks for a living has a word or two that routinely trips them up; for me, it’s “politicization,” which comes out sounding a lot like Obama’s “superfluous” here. And once you screw it up the first time, it usually gets worse the second time. The best thing — or the least worst thing — to do is laugh at yourself, as Obama does here.

Still, file this under “if George W. Bush did this,” or maybe in this case, Gerald Ford.

Note: Barring any major gaffes, this will be the final OOTD for 2010. Starting tomorrow, we’ll have polls each day to choose the Obamateurism of the Year!

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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TOTUS should have a embedded thesaurus for just such a thing…

cmsinaz on December 15, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Starting tomorrow, we’ll have polls each day to choose the Obamateurism of the Year!

you’ve got your work cut out for you Ed…it’s been a humdinger of a year

cmsinaz on December 15, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Note: Barring any major gaffes, this will be the final OOTD for 2010. Starting tomorrow, we’ll have polls each day to choose the Obamateurism of the Year!

Does a “major gaffe” include both Republicans and Democrats spending billions against the wishes of Americans, while Obama remains silently on the sidelines? Would saying nothing ever be considered an Obamateurism?

Rovin on December 15, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Would saying nothing ever be considered an Obamateurism?

Rovin on December 15, 2010 at 8:17 AM

It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Ed Morrissey on December 15, 2010 at 8:21 AM

. He gave a speech at the Kennedy Center for their Kennedy Honors presentation and stumbled twice over the same word — “superfluous”

.

Obama seems to have no problem pronouncing words that he lives by;…kickass, spread wealth, spend, me, I, hostage takers, Sarah, ditch, Corpsman…*strike the last one*
These are words he uses ever day. But then again, can’t blame him for that.

Electrongod on December 15, 2010 at 8:23 AM

I have an ex- G/F who can’t say “statistics” … “stathistics, stasistics, stith…phuqqing NUMBERS!”

Tony737 on December 15, 2010 at 8:24 AM

It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Ed Morrissey on December 15, 2010 at 8:21 AM

No wonder my wife gives me those ‘looks’.

Limerick on December 15, 2010 at 8:24 AM

In his case though, it just is one more example of using an excuse like his “blame Bush”; in this case I guess he’s saying that his “lip acted stupidly”.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on December 15, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Does a “major gaffe” include both Republicans and Democrats spending billions against the wishes of Americans, while Obama remains silently on the sidelines? Would saying nothing ever be considered an Obamateurism?

Rovin on December 15, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Excellent point Rovin… Governing against the will of the people has no boundaries with these people. The message was sent loud and clear but fell upon death ears once again. Much more work to get done in 2012 and beyond.

Keemo on December 15, 2010 at 8:25 AM

I dunno. I think a person who has pretty much just been reading a teleprompter for a living might be expected to screen his prepared remarks for words he can’t say. Look: A few years ago I was in an amateur production of She Stoops To Conquer. One of the other actors also had troubles with the “superfluous.” He’d never encountered the word before, so he didn’t know how to say it right. But he took it seriously enough to fix it come showtime. (It’s not like trying and failing to say “politicization” off the cuff….)

Further compounding: When a person uses a big word to sound smart and gets the word wrong, it is ironic comedy gold. (More than once I’ve laughed at someone who has used the word “penultimate” without understaning what it meant. (“No, ‘penultimate’ is not more ultimate than ‘ultimate.’”) Laughing off a mistake like this can help limit the problem by getting rid of pretense, but we are talking about a someone who’d been intentionally using pretense all the way though his campaign for President and beyond. There is no escape.

apostic on December 15, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Barring any major gaffes, this will be the final OOTD for 2010

heh. nice caveat, Ed. A heckuva busy year for the OOTD, wasn’t it?!

you did mean major major gaffes, I think. Not merely just the “major” ones….

ted c on December 15, 2010 at 8:29 AM

. He gave a speech at the Kennedy Center for their Kennedy Honors presentation and stumbled twice over the same word — “superfluous”
.

Obama seems to have no problem pronouncing words that he lives by;…kickass, spread wealth, spend, me, I, hostage takers, Sarah, ditch, Corpsman…*strike the last one*
These are words he uses ever day. But then again, can’t blame him for that.

Electrongod on December 15, 2010 at 8:23 AM

You forgot to mention “I won.”

pilamaye on December 15, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Hey Ed, we’re enjoying reading the essay’s written by the first mate. Please tell Marcia to keep up the good work!

Keemo on December 15, 2010 at 8:31 AM

You forgot to mention “I won.”

pilamaye on December 15, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Your right. I haven’t heard him say that for some time but I am sure he tells himself this every morning in the mirror.

Electrongod on December 15, 2010 at 8:34 AM

Note: Barring any major gaffes, this will be the final OOTD for 2010. Starting tomorrow, we’ll have polls each day to choose the Obamateurism of the Year!

You are a very optimistic person. I can’t believe Obama can go 2 weeks without some stupid remark.

antisocial on December 15, 2010 at 8:34 AM

But…but…he’s storybook, man! LOL.

kingsjester on December 15, 2010 at 8:37 AM

we’ll have polls each day to choose the Obamateurism of the Year!

I think we all know what the winner will be, and for once I agree with Bubba when he said “Please go”.

Jerome Horwitz on December 15, 2010 at 8:39 AM

Note: Barring any major gaffes, this will be the final OOTD for 2010. Starting tomorrow, we’ll have polls each day to choose the Obamateurism of the Year!

Good luck with that. This guy is melting down, and it’s going to get worse.

mr.blacksheep on December 15, 2010 at 8:40 AM

I’ll cut him some slack on this one. I can’t say, “President Obama,” sticks in my throat every time. Sometimes it even makes me gag.

Tommy_G on December 15, 2010 at 8:40 AM

WORST STORY OF THE DAY

From the A.P.:

SYDNEY — A wooden boat packed with asylum seekers smashed against jagged rocks in a storm off an Australian island Wednesday, flinging terrified occupants into churning waters and killing at least 27 people. Christmas Island residents on a cliff above watched in horror as the boat — carrying about 70 people — broke apart with a crack, dumping screaming men, women and children into monstrous waves that pounded them against the rocks. “It was just horrible. People getting crushed. Bodies, dead children, the whole thing was pretty awful,” island resident Simon Prince told The Associated Press.

Tony737 on December 15, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Good luck with that. This guy is melting down, and it’s going to get worse.

mr.blacksheep on December 15, 2010 at 8:40 AM

I know. Last week he had 4-5 major contenders for OOTW and capped the week off with a doozy. The wheels are literally off the bus and I am out of slurpee.

ted c on December 15, 2010 at 8:44 AM

Ed,unless he goes totally silent, there will be more.

katy the mean old lady on December 15, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Note: Barring any major gaffes, this will be the final OOTD for 2010. Starting tomorrow, we’ll have polls each day to choose the Obamateurism of the Year!

No worry, OOTD fans, we’ll have another one tomorrow.

rbj on December 15, 2010 at 8:47 AM

I’ll cut him some slack on this one. I can’t say, “President Obama,” sticks in my throat every time. Sometimes it even makes me gag.

Tommy_G on December 15, 2010 at 8:40 AM

I frequently have similar problems with absurdities like oxymorons: Business ethics, objective journalism, jumbo shrimp, etc.

Has President Obama become an oxymoron — particularly after last Friday?

(NB – Any respons to the above that includes the word “moron” is just too easy.)

apostic on December 15, 2010 at 8:47 AM

ted c on December 15, 2010 at 8:44 AM

Please stock up. NOW. The Magnificent One still needs to get the car out of the ditch. You need the slurpee.

antisocial on December 15, 2010 at 9:21 AM

for me, it’s “politicization,”

Back when John Gibson had the 5 p.m. slot at Fox, I sent a comment using that word. The girl who was on with him read my comment and tried 3 times to say the word before giving up. I sent her an email apologizing. It’s a horrible word to try to pronounce. Does not easily roll off the tongue at all.

Connie on December 15, 2010 at 9:24 AM

But saying “nuke-U-lar” makes someone an idiot????

Really?

Fundamental Fred on December 15, 2010 at 9:24 AM

I know. Last week he had 4-5 major contenders for OOTW and capped the week off with a doozy. The wheels are literally off the bus and I am out of slurpee.

ted c on December 15, 2010 at 8:44 AM

Hmmmm… “I am here to drink my Slurpee and kick butt. And I’m all out of Slurpee….”

apostic on December 15, 2010 at 9:27 AM

When one is reading prepared remarks the preparer of said remarks should not use words that the reader can’t pronounce.

But…but…he’s storybook, man! LOL.

kingsjester on December 15, 2010 at 8:37 AM

Clean and articulate my ash

darwin-t on December 15, 2010 at 9:34 AM

An Obamateurism of the year? The fool is a walking Obamateurism. How about we permanently affix the term “Obamateurism” to the American lexicon by applying the term to others who are total fakes? I suggest from now on we apply the term not just to Obama, but rather to anyone who acts in that fashion.

IE…Allahpundit pulled an Obamateurism when he decided that being a Beta male was a badge of honor.

John Cornyn’s most recent Obamateurism was on Fox News when he denounced earmarks after requesting $16 million in earmarks for his own state.

csdeven on December 15, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Ed,

Seriously, do you really believe that there won’t be any more major gaffes? I’m counting on at least 3 or 4.

Bigurn on December 15, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Bigurn on December 15, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Please reset the game and play clocks to 15 days.

Christien on December 15, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Everyone slips up now and then. Everyone! It’s human, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Perfection is for God alone.

That being said…you’re absolutely right. If Bush had tripped up this way, it would be news for the msm’s…and they lable him as thee dumbest president ever.

It’s good to laugh at ones self. Keeps you humble. Maybe this is a good starting point for Obama.? Well….probably not!

capejasmine on December 15, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Should have had Slick Willie standing in the wings to rush out and pronounce it for him.

Oldnuke on December 15, 2010 at 11:43 AM

‘Realtor’ is another that some folks can’t seem to say.

slickwillie2001 on December 15, 2010 at 12:27 PM

For me, it’s “prostate.” I always want to pronounce it as though it were spelled “postrate.”

SukieTawdry on December 15, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Come on folks, let’s give Bammie a break, the word ‘superfluous’ is not in a single one of Alinsky’s books. How would Bammie know that word?

slickwillie2001 on December 15, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Starting tomorrow, we’ll have polls each day to choose the Obamateurism of the Year!

I hope we each get 52 votes!!

landlines on December 15, 2010 at 2:55 PM

this will be the final OOTD for 2010

And then, depression set in…

Another daily fix fallen victim to end of the year summations. Gads…

karl9000 on December 15, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Starting tomorrow, we’ll have polls each day to choose the Obamateurism of the Year!

Easy, Bill Clinton at the rescue, while the child goes to tug at his mommie’s apron, with pacifier in stitched mouth.

Schadenfreude on December 15, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Note: Barring any major gaffes, this will be the final OOTD for 2010. Starting tomorrow, we’ll have polls each day to choose the Obamateurism of the Year!

I have a feeling we all know the winner already…..

There Goes The Neighborhood on December 15, 2010 at 11:37 PM

People! People! People!

We’re missing the most obvious part of this OOTD. It’s not the mispronunciation/stumbling of “superfluous.” It’s that he began reading from TOTUS incorrectly. Watch it again: He says “‘TOO Many people,’ he wrote in his dissent…” then stumbles on “superfluous” and says “let me start again.” He then correctly says, “To many people…” (emphasis on ‘many’). I think the trip up was a staged way to dig himself out of that hole, as he realized the tremendous difference between the two. To wit, “TOO many people who believe the president is an empty suit…” and “To MANY people who believe the president is an empty suit…” The meanings are entirely different. He was trying to save face.

Fail.

Captain Scarlet on December 16, 2010 at 5:46 AM