Obamateurism of the Day

What would be the equivalent of “Freudian slip” in Russian?  Maybe it’s the same as “reset.”  At yesterday’s press conference following the meeting between Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Obama goofed by saying exactly what everyone else believes (h/t HA reader Bruce G):


At a news conference Obama gave a carefully worded reply about the effectiveness of the leadership tandem when a U.S. journalist bluntly asked “who is really in charge here in Russia?”

But minutes later, speaking about Medvedev’s objections to a controversial missile defense system planned for central Europe, Obama slipped:

“I suspect when I speak to President..eh.. Prime Minister Putin tomorrow, he will say the same thing.”

President … Prime Minister … Czar … heck, you can call Putin everything but late for borscht, and it would probably be accurate.  It’s considered mildly rude and amateurish to let it slip in public, however.

Besides, that wasn’t the most amateurish statement Obama made at the press conference.  This was:

Ben Feller of the Associated Press asked Obama whether he feels he has “full trust” in Medvedev and whether he feels certain about who is in charge in Russia, President Medvedev or Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Obama responded, “Yes, I trust President Medvedev.”


Well, those who are ignorant of history (Carter’s kiss on Brezhnev’s cheek, Bush’s look into Putin’s eyes) are doomed to repeat it.

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!

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