Obamateurism of the Day

Remember when Barack Obama promised to restore our standing with our allies? It seems that Europe is less than impressed with Obama:

President Barack Obama’s plan to skip a European Union-U.S. summit in May has led EU leaders to scrap the summit altogether.

The White House signaled this week that Obama was not going to attend the meeting, which was intended to be a highlight of Spain’s six-month hold on the rotating EU presidency.

“The president is committed to a strong U.S.-EU partnership, and with Europe in general,” White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said. “There were no plans for the president to travel to Spain for a summit this spring.”

You might say that a European snit doesn’t an Obamateurism make — and normally you’d be right. But how did Spain discover that Obama refused to attend the summit?

Spain claims that it was only through these media reports that it found out Obama would not be attending the Madrid meeting, which was intended to cover a wide range of issues including foreign affairs, climate change, Iran’s nuclear program, success in Afghanistan, and the global economic crisis. …

Spanish newspaper El Pais complained in an editorial Wednesday that Obama’s passing the country over signaled a change in Washington priorities and marginalized the EU. BBC reported that “in Brussels there is growing concern that President Obama is taking Europe for granted and focusing instead on China and Russia.”

What kind of diplomacy is this? Smart power? More like amateurish bumbling.

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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