Obamateurism of the Day

We’re back after a week off, and it may take a while to get through some of the backlog. However, our Commander in Chief gave us a gimme yesterday to allow a little extra time for research. On a holiday commemorating our fallen heroes and on the day when North Korea conducted a nuclear test, what was the biggest schedule entry on President Obama’s calendar? A lengthy meeting in the Situation Room? A day meeting with veterans groups and visiting the families of those killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan? Er … not quite:

The president spent around four hours on the links this afternoon — arriving around 1:30 and leaving just before 5:30 — staying in Washington after the ceremony at Arlington instead of flying back to Camp David as he was originally scheduled.

Four hours on the golf course, and less than 30 minutes speaking at Arlington, where he gave a Memorial Day speech. During the speech, which he gave just before playing his round of golf, he made this request:

So on this day of silent remembrance and solemn prayer I ask all Americans, wherever you are, whoever you’re with, whatever you’re doing, to pause in national unity at 3 o’clock this afternoon. I ask you to ring a bell, or offer a prayer, say a silent “thank you.”

The White House assured reporters that Obama complied with his own request by observing a moment of silence on — I kid you not — the golf course:

For President Obama that moment came in the middle of a round of golf at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia. … White House aides told reporters that the president paused at 3 p.m. to observe a moment of silent prayer.

Um, yeah. Or he may have observed a moment of silent contemplation of a ten-foot putt, too. Was it really too much to ask to have the President at work in the White House on a day when Kim Jong-Il tested a nuclear weapon, or at least to spend as much time honoring veterans as he did honing his short game?

And I don’t want to play the “If Bush did this” game for the next four years, but in fact, Bush did get a lot of criticism for answering a reporter’s question about terrorism in August 2002 while visiting Israel. Michael Moore included the clip in one of his movies:

Bush didn’t do this on Memorial Day, and he didn’t do it on a day when North Korea tested a nuclear weapon and threatened the security of the Pacific Rim. Think Michael Moore or anyone on the Left will be criticizing this? Don’t hold your breath.

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!