Obamateurism of the Day

Who doesn’t love the tales of King Arthur and the Round Table? Gallantry, heroism, courage … and gluttony. The New York Times catches Barack Obama making a historical jest at the expense of adviser David Axelrod, but unfortunately Obama didn’t sound too Merlin-like:

Unlike other presidential alter egos, Mr. Axelrod is not viewed as a surrogate “brain” (like Karl Rove), a suspicious outsider (like Dick Morris in the Clinton White House) or a co-president (James Baker in the first Bush White House). Sometimes portrayed as a bare-knuckled Chicago operative, he is also a bantering walrus of a man in mustard-stained sleeves who describes himself as a “kibbitzer,” not a “policy guy.”

Sitting at his desk next door to the Oval Office last week, he was tearing into a five-inch corned beef sandwich on rye with a Flintstone-size turkey drumstick waiting on deck. “I am the poster child for the president’s obesity program,” he said.

A few minutes later, Mr. Obama walked in unannounced, scattering two aides like startled pigeons. “Hey,” Mr. Axelrod said by way of greeting (no “sir” or “Mr. President.”) Mr. Obama surveyed the spread on Mr. Axelrod’s desk with a slight smirk.

“What is this, King Arthur’s court?” he asked, then pulled Mr. Axelrod aside to talk about a health care speech he was about to deliver.

Maybe Sir Gawain had an eating disorder? Or perhaps, as Neo-Neocon surmises, Obama was thinking about Henry VIII rather than Arthur. There are about seven centuries, five wives, and a Round Table’s difference between Arthur and Henry, which seems to have escaped the President. And unfortunately, when one wants to be a smart-ass, it requires one to be smart about the topic in the first place.

In other words, don’t let the Tudors hit you on the way out. Hey, I’m here all week. Don’t forget to tip the serving wench, and try the drumstick, it’s delicious.

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!