When Barack Obama demanded $800 billion from Congress in early 2009 for his Porkulus plan, he claimed that he would rescue the economy through the funding of “shovel-ready jobs.” Later, he admitted that there isn’t any such thing as shovel-ready jobs, but if there were, Obama seems to have an allergy to them:

It was a rather odd sight: as an array of museum officials, including former first lady Laura Bush, took up shovels at the groundbreaking for the first national museum dedicated exclusively to African-American history and culture, the nation’s first black president sat watching, no shovel in hand. …

When he finished and returned to his seat, a call was put out for groundbreakers to gather at the front of the stage. Obama then stood, buttoned his jacket and prepared to join in. But an official whispered something to him and he sat back down as museum officials and members of the museum’s advisory council, including the former first lady, picked up shovels for the ceremonial turning of the dirt. The Obamas remained on stage.

Protocol does not seem to have played a role. Turns out, presidents throughout history have wielded shovels for groundbreakings.

It’s a lot like his presidency.  He gives a good speech, but when it comes to getting any real work done, he’s happy to sit it out. (via Glenn Reynolds)

 

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.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!