Only three more Obamateurisms to go for 2011 before we start the polls to decide on the Obamateurism of the Year, which kind of relates to today’s OOTD. At the end of 2009, Barack Obama was asked to grade his performance, and he gave himself a “good, solid B-plus” – one of our more popular OOTDs and an OOTW, too. Guess what? Obama has applied a little grade inflation since then. When CBS’ Steve Kroft asked Obama to go over his accomplishments, he didn’t hesitate to name himself as one of the all-time great Presidents:
President Obama suggested, during his recent CBS interview, that his domestic and foreign policy achievements over his first term surpass any other United States president, “with the possible exceptions” of Presidents Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.
“I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln,” Obama told Steve Kroft, “just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history.”
The best of all time — with the possible exceptions of FDR, Lincoln, and LBJ? Don’t afflict us with any false modesty, Mr. President. Notice that Obama didn’t mention the possibility that he may not have surpassed George Washington, who only fathered the nation and instilled a tradition of peaceful transfers of power that enables Obama to sit in the Oval Office today. His foreign-policy accomplishments apparently outshine Ronald Reagan, who won the Cold War, and Harry Truman, who made it possible to win it in the first place, as well as finishing FDR’s work in winning World War II. Heck, even Richard Nixon opened China to the US.
By the way, it’s worth noting that LBJ’s signature foreign-policy “achievement” was escalating American involvement in Vietnam until we had over a half-million troops in Indochina. That “achievement” is why LBJ didn’t run a second time for President, champ. That’s a pretty low bar to clear for “achievement,” and it’s indicative of the low bar Obama sets in judging history all on its own. What other foreign-policy achievement did LBJ have that would convince Obama that he hadn’t measured up to him?
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!