Obamateurism of the Day

This one got caught by Fox News on the day Barack Obama committed this Obamateurism, but I don’t recall any other news agency picking up on the fact that either the President didn’t bother to find out when the botched Bay of Pigs invasion occurred — or forgot his own birthday. Neither made Obama look like a genius:

Ortega denounced the U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro’s new Communist government in Cuba in 1961, a history of US racism and what he called suffocating U.S. economic policies in the region.

In his 17-minute address to the summit, Obama departed from his prepared remarks to mildly rebuke Ortega.

“To move forward, we cannot let ourselves be prisoners of past disagreements. I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old. Too often, an opportunity to build a fresh partnership of the Americas has been undermined by stale debates. We’ve all heard these arguments before.”

Actually, the president misspoke on the sequence of events in Cuba. The invasion of CIA-trained rebels at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba occurred in April 1961. Obama was born August 4, 1961.

Even forgiving the stupid (and easily checkable) mistake on the dates, Obama’s insistence on personalizing the criticism seems very strange. He went to the Summit of the Americas to represent the United States of America, not Barack Obama. Who cares when Obama was born? What does that have to do with the price of sugar in the Western Hemisphere, anyway? And why was the only significant rebuttal to Daniel Ortega’s anti-US diatribe from Obama focused on himself personally, and not defending the United States?

And honestly, how hard is it to study a little on the bigger events in Latin American history and get the dates right before opening his mouth and proving himself embarrassingly ignorant?

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!