Obamateurism of the Day (Updated)

What happens when a president has such an obsequious media following that he can’t legitimately complain about being held accountable for his actions? He generates fantasy harassment for fun anecdotes to fawning audiences. In this case, Barack Obama told an audience in Turkey that he has to remind the White House press corps that he’s actually not the Messiah:

“So words are good and understanding is good, but ultimately it has to translate into concrete actions. And it takes time. I was just talking to my press team and they were amused because some of my reporter friends from the States were asking, how come you didn’t solve everything on this trip? They said, well, you know, it’s only been a week.”

Oh, that adoring White House press corps!  They expect so much, but a Lightworker’s gotta have some time to set the world straight! Too bad the actual White House press corps doesn’t actually ask questions like this.  According to Jake Tapper’s Twitter feed during the speech, no one in the press corps asked the dumb question Obama attributed to them.

Now, Obama’s not the first President to stretch the truth about the treatment that he gets from the press (as Jake noted at the time), but he’s the first to create fantasy anecdotes to modestly claim slightly lower status than a Messiah.  He may be the first President to have to resort to fiction to make the press sound tougher on him than they actually are, with a couple of exceptions (like Tapper).  Maybe the White House press corps should take a hint and start building more testicular fortitude.

Update: Here’s the actual question from the press corps, and it isn’t at all what Obama suggested:

Q Denis, I understand and I take your point of not lecturing, but listening. What I’m trying to understand in these conversations how the bottom line is altogether different. I mean, I can’t imagine the President saying that a nuclear Iran does not an existential threat. He believes that it is. That’s not a negotiable position. So at some point you have to define that as U.S. policy. Same thing with Guantanamo — he’s going to close it down, but he would like European support to take detainees. The same thing on North Korea — continued pursuit of these missile technologies or nuclear weapons is a big problem; we want help.

On those three issues, am I right in asserting that there are some irreducible minimums to U.S. policy and there is a point where the discussions get down to what the U.S. wants from its allies? And on those three issues, what’s the harvest on this trip?

MR. AXELROD: Well, Major, I don’t pretend to be from a rural area, but I know one thing about harvests is you plant, you cultivate, you harvest. This is a longer process than a week, but you can’t — you have to begin by establishing the parameters of the discussion, by establishing a basis of trust and understanding going forward. The President had some very direct discussions with leaders — the leaders he met with on those and other subjects and came away with a commitment to move these talks forward, some specific commitments that will become clearer later.

But you don’t leave with a bounty on the first — in the first instance. I mean, there were some specific things that were accomplished here at the G20, at NATO, relative to Afghanistan that are tangible and are important. But over time, the seeds that were planted here are going to be very, very valuable for the security and progress of the United States. And one example of that is on the arms question. To restart a conversation with the Russians that had essentially languished is going to be valuable at a time when the nuclear threat is growing. And so there will be a harvest; it will come at different times and in different ways. But the seeds were planted, and that was the goal of this trip.

So they didn’t ask him why he hadn’t solved all of America’s problems in foreign policy in a week.  They asked him why he hadn’t managed to show any progress on the three big issues on the American agenda.  The press corps did a good job in putting Obama’s feet to the fire, and Obama tried to use it to make himself more One-ish.  Lame.

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.

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