Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on January 6, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Remember when Steven Seagal made a whole series of B-movies with titles designed to read with his name above them? Steven Seagal is — Out for Justice!  Steven Seagal is — Above the Law! Well, Barack Obama has more in common with Seagal than you might think.  According to the Hill, Barack Obama is — Above the Law … at least when it comes to wearing his seatbelt:

Does President Obama wear a seatbelt in his presidential limo? He is supposed to, but there are indications that he doesn’t. …

But it is noteworthy that the Secret Service took more than three years to answer a relatively straightforward FOIA query.

In a heavily redacted eight-page response, the Secret Service states that it is the “driver’s responsibility to ensure that each occupant is provided with a functioning seat belt, and that the belts are securely fastened prior to moving the vehicle.”

But it’s hard to imagine a Secret Service agent ordering the commander in chief to put his belt on. And in a March 2010 photo released by the White House, Obama is clearly not wearing his seatbelt while he talks on the phone in the presidential limo.

Here’s the pic:

The shoulder harness clearly hasn’t been engaged, and it’s unlikely that this action photo was taken in the White House driveway.  There are cars visible in the rear window, so the President is in traffic, and he’s not buckled up — which in Washington DC would mean a $50 fine and higher insurance premiums.  Of course, Obama could force insurers to accept non-bucklers as a pre-existing condition at community pricing … but I digress.

Certainly this is not the equivalent of Watergate in terms of a President considering himself above the law.  However, Jon Corzine nearly died in a motorcade wreck a few years ago while Governor of New Jersey in part because he didn’t wear his seatbelt as required, and both Obama and Biden have had accidents occur in their motorcades over the last couple of years, so it’s not exactly nothing, either.  We may not like Obama’s policies and tactics, but we don’t want to see a President end up as a traffic fatality by neglecting something as basic as buckling a seatbelt.  Come on, man.

Update: One of our commenters notes that George Bush got caught not using a seatbelt, which is never smart, but it was also on his private ranch.  Seatbelt laws only apply on public roads — and for that matter, licensing and registration laws only apply on public roads, too.  No one gets $50 tickets and two points deducted from their license for failing to buckle up on private property.

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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laws for thee but not for me

cmsinaz on January 6, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Comparing Steven Seagal with Obama is just not funny!

OldEnglish on January 6, 2011 at 8:09 AM

At least he isn’t driving drunk, like his daddy.

Disturb the Universe on January 6, 2011 at 8:10 AM

semi-related legal note:

Today the US Constitution will be read in the US Congress.

It’s too bad that this is newsworthy, but here we are. It’s a step in the right direction and I am a happy man because of it.

ted c on January 6, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Buckle up, Pres. We’re one bad accident away from President Biden.

NeighborhoodCatLady on January 6, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Pull him over and give him the Prof Henry Louis Gates treatment.

ted c on January 6, 2011 at 8:11 AM

“Like a bad Steven Seagal movie” is redundant — have you ever seen a good one?

UndercoverInLA on January 6, 2011 at 8:12 AM

but we don’t want to see a President end up as a traffic fatality by neglecting something as basic as buckling a seatbelt. Come on, man.

it will have to be a major incident for him to take it seriously, until then…meh

cmsinaz on January 6, 2011 at 8:12 AM

As hard as his head is it would matter.

wepeople on January 6, 2011 at 8:13 AM

ted c on January 6, 2011 at 8:10 AM

2nd that

cmsinaz on January 6, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Nah! Sorry Ed, this one’s a real non-starter. I doubt any presidents wear their seat belts in the limo. Let’s face it, they’re surrounded by several tons of armor-plated steel and bullet-proof glass. It’s kind of like you’re not supposed to smoke in federal buildings, but does anyone really care if he lights up once in a while? OOTD’s need to focus on his bumbling incompetence. This one will NOT be in the OOTY runnoffs in December!

Trafalgar on January 6, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Make that wouldn’t matter

wepeople on January 6, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Hmmm, do we really care if he is buckled up?

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:14 AM

The only thing missing is a cigarette in his other hand.

Electrongod on January 6, 2011 at 8:14 AM

They haven’t made a seatbelt that is worthy of the king of the world.

/Get wit da programs.

Key West Reader on January 6, 2011 at 8:16 AM

In a heavily redacted eight-page response….

seriously?

cmsinaz on January 6, 2011 at 8:16 AM

“Like a bad Steven Seagal movie” is redundant — have you ever seen a good one?

UndercoverInLA on January 6, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Philistine!

OldEnglish on January 6, 2011 at 8:17 AM

“Buckle up, Slurpee Cup.”

Yoop on January 6, 2011 at 8:19 AM

laws for thee but not for me

cmsinaz on January 6, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Many of the laws that the House and Senate vote on they exempt themselves from. From ObamaCare to OHSA to minimum wage laws to name a few off the top of my head. There also exempt to civil rights and sexual discrimination laws. There’s a reason thy act like they are above the law; In many cases they are.

Tommy_G on January 6, 2011 at 8:21 AM

“they’re” not “there”, Should I give myself a timeout for bad grammar?

Tommy_G on January 6, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Doubt the economy could take the hit if he were injured in an accident.

TimBuk3 on January 6, 2011 at 8:22 AM

And yet nanny-staters like himself make darn sure that “It’s the Law”.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on January 6, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Tommy_G on January 6, 2011 at 8:21 AM

point taken

cmsinaz on January 6, 2011 at 8:23 AM

And in case you forgot, Corzine was doing 91Mph. And the need for speed? He was meeting with the Womens Basketball Team.

barnone on January 6, 2011 at 8:25 AM

When the law first was first made backseat occupants were exempt, has that changed? Oh, except for children who must be in car seats.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2011 at 8:25 AM

oh my.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM

Trafalgar

as above…

Gotta agree that this is a non-starter. While I certainly recognize the value of a seatbelt, I resent being forced under penalty of law to do something that should be personal choice. That Odamna would seem to feel the same way may be the only thing The Won and I agree about. Sheesh.

Crusader Rabbit on January 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM

I gotta’ confess I rarely buckle-up as a passenger in someone else’s car. I just hate the damned things…

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:27 AM

Buckle up, Pres. We’re one bad accident away from President Biden.

NeighborhoodCatLady on January 6, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Actually, President Biden is the good option — though I only want to see that through resignation or removal from office.

rbj on January 6, 2011 at 8:29 AM

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM

the msm made that 24/7 news and yet for dear leader
*crickets chirping*

cmsinaz on January 6, 2011 at 8:30 AM

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM

And look what they did to him.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2011 at 8:30 AM

oh my.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM

Yeah, but Bush doesn’t hate America.

darwin on January 6, 2011 at 8:30 AM

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM

“On private property, you’re not required to wear your seat belt,” said Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, Tela Mange who also added that driving on private property with no seat belt is “fairly common.”

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:30 AM

No worries. The bubble he lives in will cushion him from most impacts.

The_Livewire on January 6, 2011 at 8:33 AM

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2011 at 8:30 AM

he was driving his own car, not sitting in an ultra safe limo in the middle of a presidential motorcade.

anyway, i don’t think any president has ever buckled up in his limo.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:34 AM

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:30 AM

does it make it safe to drive without a belt?

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:35 AM

oh my.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM

Well look at that. Who knew that the MSM had it in them to ask hard-hitting questions of a sitting President. Thanks for that refresher!

“On private property, you’re not required to wear your seat belt,” said Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, Tela Mange who also added that driving on private property with no seat belt is “fairly common.”

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:30 AM

No, no, not facts!

conservative pilgrim on January 6, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Yeah, but Bush doesn’t hate America.

darwin on January 6, 2011 at 8:30 AM

dude, i love your comments. you should collect and publish them. in a medical journal.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:37 AM

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:37 AM

yikes

cmsinaz on January 6, 2011 at 8:39 AM

I have a semi serious question; If you have air bags,why do you need to buckle up?

oldernwiser on January 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM

anyway, i don’t think any president has ever buckled up in his limo.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:34 AM

Loved that man…

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM

As a B movie fan, I’m still stuck on this Steven Seagal title thing

Halfway through his first term, Barack Obama is… Half Past Dead!

As the Birthers say, Barack Obama is… The Foreigner!

Yeah, this has potential.

apostic on January 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM

cmsinaz on January 6, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Prayers are coveted for Omaha this morning, especially in Millard. She was much beloved, by students and her peers alike.

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Could be one explaination for why some aren’t concerned with encroaching governemt, rules, regulations, statutes, and codes: They simply ignore.

dts-01 on January 6, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Well look at that. Who knew that the MSM had it in them to ask hard-hitting questions of a sitting President. Thanks for that refresher!

Conservative pilgrim on January 6, 2011 at 8:36 AM

That’s why this is a non-starter for an OOTD. Ed’s trying to make it a “hard-hitting” story about Obama, and it just isn’t. Let’s stick to The Won’s bumbling incompetence.

Trafalgar on January 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM

I have no problem with Obama not buckling up…

Keemo on January 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM

I have a semi serious question; If you have air bags,why do you need to buckle up?

oldernwiser on January 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM

I thought we were talking about the Air Bag that needed to be buckled up.

pablo5108 on January 6, 2011 at 8:46 AM

That’s why this is a non-starter for an OOTD. Ed’s trying to make it a “hard-hitting” story about Obama, and it just isn’t. Let’s stick to The Won’s bumbling incompetence.

Trafalgar on January 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM

I’m referring to the hard-hitting questions from sesquapilly’s link, not Ed’s post.

conservative pilgrim on January 6, 2011 at 8:46 AM

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:43 AM

coming your way my friend…

cmsinaz on January 6, 2011 at 8:48 AM

apostic on January 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM

And we’re all “Under Siege”

oldernwiser on January 6, 2011 at 8:48 AM

I’m referring to the hard-hitting questions from sesquapilly’s link, not Ed’s post.

conservative pilgrim on January 6, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Yes, that’s my point. You’re criticizing the press for asking “hard hitting” questions about Bush not wearing a seat belt, but when Ed attempts to make this non-issue a “hard hitting” story about Obama it’s ok. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand Obama or anything he does, thinks, or says. It’s just that this really is a non-issue.

Trafalgar on January 6, 2011 at 8:50 AM

But it’s hard to imagine a Secret Service agent ordering the commander in chief to put his belt on.

I disagree. That is what the Secret Service has always done, verbally advise the POTUS to observe safety protocol.

Now, that Obama disregards law and proper protocol is absolutely consistent. His first move as Potus was to negate contract law w/ the federal take-over of GM and Chrysler.

Laws never apply to elitists. So far as they’re concerned laws are made to be ignored and broken on their own behalf while contemptuously and unjustly applied with fabricated prosecutions against political opposition tagged and targeted as “the enemy”.

All the more reason to demand application and enforcement of our Constitution and current laws, and deny assent to authoritarians usurping abusive powers. POLICY does not constitutionally hold precedence over LAW.

Halting the overwhelming and pervasive authoritarian bureaucracies requires citizenry commitment to constitutional and fiscal conservancy. It isn’t as if those who want authoritarianism aren’t using tax payers to provide its funding and assent to its abuses. Elitists aren’t paying for what they take. Bill Clinton’s response to “Why?” explained, “Because I could.”

maverick muse on January 6, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Buckle up, Pres. We’re one bad accident away from President Biden.

The scary thing is that I’m not at all certain that would be a bad thing anymore. How much worse than Giggles could Greasy Joe be?

crazy_legs on January 6, 2011 at 8:53 AM

He doesn’t need a seatbelt. His underwear is attached to a post in the seat. If the car stops short, he’ll just get a wedgie.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on January 6, 2011 at 8:56 AM

anyway, i don’t think any president has ever buckled up in his limo.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:34 AM

Yea….
I bet Clinton didn’t buckle up….
………it would have made it to difficult for Monica to get to his zipper.

Baxter Greene on January 6, 2011 at 8:56 AM

dude, i love your comments. you should collect and publish them. in a medical journal.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Great idea! I shall title it “Replies to supporters of Oppression: by darwin”

darwin on January 6, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Waivered

golfmann on January 6, 2011 at 8:58 AM

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:34 AM

Few presidents drive, and he was on his own property. Why the reflexive need to immediately compare to W. This is such a nothing charge and you feel the need to defend? You are an Obamanista.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2011 at 8:59 AM

I’m a bit….just a bit….more worried about CRAP LIKE THIS than whether the American Death Angel (DAOTUS) is wearing his seat belt.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/01/rate-increase-by-blue-shield-of-california-prompts-criticism.html

But hey if the Nanny Stater Progressives want us to play by those rules, then so should they.

FINE HIM

PappyD61 on January 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM

“Like a bad Steven Seagal movie” is redundant — have you ever seen a good one?

Executive Decision was pretty good – but then again his character died about 15 minutes into it and it’s more a Kurt Russel movie.

crazy_legs on January 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM

As long as Bill Clinton says it’s o.k. to not wear a seat belt most of the time, then what’s the big deal? Isn’t being above the law necessary to shred the Constitution? How else would the FCC prevail in their quest to silence the internet? How else does the Federal Reserve print money with no oversight? We’re watching the decriminalization of the illegal immigrant by calling them undocumented workers without any change in the law. Terrorist are now called man caused disasters for a more civilized term to deal with them. What will be the new term for earmarks? Any one see a pattern here? Being above the law is just a matter of changing the language under this administration—and getting Bill Clinton’s approval.

Rovin on January 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:37 AM

I just read a story about this. So very very sad. I am sure we will hear more but it appears to be out of character for the shooter and that he was a recent transfer to the school. Prayers for the families and the students and the staff of that school.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Guys, it’s hard to find an Obamateurism when POTUS is trying to stay out of the limelight. At least for a day.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Update: One of our commenters notes that George Bush got caught not using a seatbelt, which is never smart,

it was an issue then because he was driving his own car, with his average driving skills and the vehicle’s average level of safety.

no one said a word when he was pictured in his limo without a belt. presidents, American or foreign, never buckle up when they’re driven around in a motorcade.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 9:24 AM

no one said a word when he was pictured in his limo without a belt. presidents, American or foreign, never buckle up when they’re driven around in a motorcade.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 9:24 AM

So what? We now use double standards … just like the left, so quit your whining. This is the equality you’ve strived for. Get used to it.

darwin on January 6, 2011 at 9:29 AM

This is such a nothing charge and you feel the need to defend? You are an Obamanista.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2011 at 8:59 AM

everybody’s entitled to their opinion, but pettiness and irrational criticism should be called out.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Barack Obama IS…………..ABOVE THE LAW!!!
And if the limo driver suddenly hits the brakes at high speed…

Barack Obama IS………….THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD!!!!

pilamaye on January 6, 2011 at 9:43 AM

“Like a bad Steven Seagal movie” is redundant — have you ever seen a good one?

UndercoverInLA on January 6, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Under Siege

Don’t be messing with my B-action movies!

ladyingray on January 6, 2011 at 9:49 AM

oh my.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM

As has been mention I sure, you are a copraphagious fool.

darwin-t on January 6, 2011 at 9:54 AM

…licensing and registration laws only apply on public roads, too. No one gets $50 tickets and two points deducted from their license for failing to buckle up on private property.

What is this “private property” you speak of?

Anyone’s decision to drive an unregistered “farm use” truck around his ranch without wearing a seatbelt is indirectly impacting interstate commerce. The State needs to address this scourge pronto.

forest on January 6, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Fun fact: Steven Seagal has appeared approximately 147 movies with the words “Death”, “Kill”, or “Justice” in the title. My personal favorites are “Killed to Death” and “Death Kill 4: Justice”.

VanPalin on January 6, 2011 at 9:55 AM

everybody’s entitled to their opinion, but pettiness and irrational criticism should be called out.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 9:35 AM

You’re petty and irrational.

darwin-t on January 6, 2011 at 10:00 AM

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 9:35 AM

If it makes you feel better, than I am happy.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2011 at 10:02 AM

No one gets $50 tickets and two points deducted from their license for failing to buckle up on private property.

Well by golly they should!/

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2011 at 10:04 AM

If for no other reason, you’d think Obama would want to set a good example. Not just for the citizens he serves, but for his own girls. What does this tell them?

capejasmine on January 6, 2011 at 10:04 AM

everybody’s entitled to their opinion, but pettiness and irrational criticism should be called out.

sesquipedalian on January 6, 2011 at 9:35 AM

And if anyone’s an expert at pettiness, and irrational criticism…..

capejasmine on January 6, 2011 at 10:06 AM

If for no other reason, you’d think Obama would want to set a good example. Not just for the citizens he serves, but for his own girls. What does this tell them?

capejasmine on January 6, 2011 at 10:04 AM

That they shouldn’t be punished with a seatbelt?

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Hmmm, do we really care if he is buckled up?

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 8:14 AM

I personally, do not. But as I’ve said..what message does this send to his kids? I would hope that parents would love to set a good example for their kids. Fine, or not, the law is clear. Buckle up. So what do his kids learn from this? You can break laws, if you are somebody? You can break the laws just so long as you don’t get caught?

Never worry anyway. I’m sure if something bad happened to the Messiah, in 3 days time, he’d rise again.

capejasmine on January 6, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Buckle up, Pres. We’re one bad accident away from President Biden.

NeighborhoodCatLady on January 6, 2011 at 8:11 AM

This.

antisocial on January 6, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Why hard?

“Mr. President, please fasten your seat belt. I’m not allowed to move until you do.”

mojo on January 6, 2011 at 10:35 AM

We’ll ask for this OOTD to be dropped as soon as we see a headline like this in a major newspaper or online outlet about Obama.

katablog.com on January 6, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Is this an impeachable offense?

ornery_independent on January 6, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I expect no less from an elitest, progressive, liberal.. He needs to lose that vehicle like weaker Pelosi lost her jet.

ultracon on January 6, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Maybe he’ll be in a wreck and get some sense knocked into that odd-shaped head of his.

slickwillie2001 on January 6, 2011 at 11:50 AM

I think we can absorb a car accident.

James on January 6, 2011 at 11:56 AM

But it’s hard to imagine a Secret Service agent ordering the commander in chief to put his belt on.

Well they let him button his own suit jacket and once let him use an umbrella – look what happens. lol

scituate_tgr on January 6, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Well they let him button his own suit jacket and once let him use an umbrella – look what happens. lol

Worse yet, they let him run a powerful nation!

katablog.com on January 6, 2011 at 12:38 PM

No worries. The bubble he lives in will cushion him from most impacts.

The_Livewire on January 6, 2011 at 8:33 AM

Not necessarily.

Although I have to admit it seems dang near 100% effective at cushioning him from reality.

VelvetElvis on January 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Buckle up, Pres. We’re one bad accident away from President Biden.

NeighborhoodCatLady on January 6, 2011 at 8:11 AM

I’m not so sure that would be the bad thing I once thought it might be.

And no, it’s not because Sheriff Joe has gotten any smarter.

VelvetElvis on January 6, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Buckle up, Pres. We’re one bad accident away from President Biden.

NeighborhoodCatLady on January 6, 2011 at 8:11 AM

I’m not so sure that would be the bad thing I once thought it might be.

And no, it’s not because Sheriff Joe has gotten any smarter.

VelvetElvis on January 6, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Yep, Biden’s looking pretty good right about now. He’s just as dimwitted as the Bamster, but he is a lot less a Marxist and a lot more likely to put together a more moderate cabinet and league of czars.

slickwillie2001 on January 6, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Obviously, this is just another rule that doesn’t apply to Himself.

Do I care if he gets hurt or killed from not wearing a seatbelt? No.

I care very much that no one else cause him (or any of his family) any harm. But if he gets hurt or killed from his own stupidity, that’s just fine with me.

Alana on January 6, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Is driving (riding) without a seatbelt a stupid choice? If so, am I supposed to care about the consequences of some jug-eared turd, regardless of title, making stupid personal choices? No.

Extrafishy on January 6, 2011 at 4:37 PM

You had ta go say something Morrissey. Now the clown will er might buckle up and save his own life from an accident. Dayamn!

{^_-}

herself on January 7, 2011 at 3:31 AM