One can always tell when Barack Obama goes off script. He stammers and ends up getting lost in his point, as he did in Minnesota on Friday when attempting to explain how a tax rebate would kick-start the economy. In fact, Obama got so lost in the point that he couldn’t even come up with the name of a part that consumers might buy with the cash:

“I assume there are some folks here who could use $3,000 a year,” Obama said. “Let’s get that done right now. That means they’re — you know, if you got $3,000 a year extra, that helps you pay down your credit cards. That helps you go out and buy some things that your family needs. Which is good for business. Maybe somebody will be replacing some thingamajig for their furnace. They’ve been putting that off. but they got that extra money, they might just go out there and buy that thing.”

The “thingamajig” reference was funny, but that’s not really the OOTD here.  The real Obamateurism is that Obama is trying to sell yet another short-term cash rebate as a macroeconomic stimulus, and he’s so bad at it that he didn’t even bother to write it out to deliver it cleanly.  Obama has offered nothing for economic policies but short-term gimmicks like the Making Work Pay tax cut, the payroll-tax “holiday” (with Republicans partnership), Cash for Clunkers, and temporary homebuyer tax credits. None of them have worked, even though he’s been promising for more than four years that all we need to do to fashion a roaring recovery is to buy a bunch of doohickeys.  The argument has grown so lame and tiresome that even Obama can’t bother to do much more than mail it in any more.

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!