How do I know it will be a good week for Obamateurisms? Whenever the President travels abroad, they come fast and furious. Yesterday found Barack Obama in fine form while meeting with an audience comprised mainly of Russian business leaders, clumsily reminding them of a transaction that still rankles the Russians to this day, as Reuters explains:
Referring to the long history of Russia-U.S. trade stretching back more than two centuries, Obama told an audience of business people in Moscow:
“Along the way, you gave us a pretty good deal on Alaska. Thank you.”
Czar Alexander II’s sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867 for $7.2 million in gold, around 1.9 cents per acre, was regarded by Russians as a national disgrace — particularly once it became clear that the province was rich in oil.
Reuters calls this a “pointed quip,” but unless Obama wanted to deliberately insult Russians, the only point is that Obama has still not figured out what diplomacy means. At its most basic, it means refraining from insulting people. (via Clyde Middleton)
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!