After his controversial remarks on Israel put Barack Obama under withering criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike, the President tried very hard to act as if nothing had happened. Speaking to AIPAC, Obama tried to claim the courage card, and then offered a strange ad-lib to the predominantly Jewish audience:
“I know that stating these principles – on the issues of territory and security – generated some controversy over the past few days,” he said. “I was not entirely surprised. I know very well that the easy thing to do, particularly for a President preparing for reelection, is to avoid any controversy.”
The president then ad-libbed: “I don’t need Rahm to tell me that. Don’t need Axelrod to tell me that.”
Is it a coincidence that Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, both high-ranking former Obama White House aides, are both Jewish? When Jake Tapper asked the White House for clarification, the President’s staff couldn’t come up with an explanation:
The president’s aides could not immediately explain the ad-lib, though some in the Jewish community have suggested the president wouldn’t have made his Thursday remarks if Emanuel and Axelrod still worked at the White House.
Well, maybe he needed Rahm and Axelrod to tell him to quit ad-libbing, if nothing else. If Obama’s own staff can’t explain the ad-lib, the likely explanation is either that Obama came up with the first two Jewish names that sprang to mind — or that no one can figure out what the heck Obama was trying to say by bringing them up at AIPAC. It sounds a lot like a “some of my best friends” argument.
By the way, I know people may have expected one of a couple of gaffes that took place yesterday for today’s OOTD, but I’ll let them work off the front page first.
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!