This one’s fresh off the press — conference, that is. This exchange took place between Ed Henry of CNN and President Obama during last night’s White House event, when Obama thought he’d gotten the best of Henry:
Henry: But on AIG, why did you wait — why did you wait days to come out and express that outrage? It seems like the action is coming out of New York and the attorney general’s office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say, “Look, we’re outraged.” Why did it take so long?
Obama: It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.
The problem with this is that it took him a couple of days — and he still got it wrong. If you’ll recall, Obama and his team first claimed to know nothing about the bonuses, and then modified that claim to knowing nothing about the amendment in the omnibus plan that allowed them to get paid. Subsequently, we discovered that not only did Tim Geithner and Congress discuss the bonuses on March 3rd (and that Geithner wrote an e-mail about them while with the New York Fed in November), but that it was Geithner and his staff that directed Chris Dodd to make the necessary changes to the amendment that enabled the bonuses. In otherwords, Outraged Obama made the bonuses possible.
Even the press laughed at this Obamateurism. Even after a couple of days on an issue, Obama doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at 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!