Obamateurism of the Day

Say, remember when a young America flexed its muscle and built a railroad that went all the way to Europe? No? How about South America? If that’s still not ringing any bells, it’s because we have never built a railroad that connected two or more continents. Maybe someone should tell Barack Obama:

“We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad,” Barack Obama.

That’s what the president of the United States flat-out said Thursday during what was supposed to be a photo op to sell his jobs plan next to an allegedly deteriorating highway bridge.

A railroad between continents? A railroad from, say, New York City all the way across the Atlantic to France? Now, THAT would be a bridge!

It’s yet another humorous gaffe by the Harvard graduate, overlooked by most media for whatever reason. Like Obama saying Abraham-Come-Lately Lincoln was the founder of the Republican Party. Or Navy corpseman. Or the Austrian language. Fifty-seven states. The president of Canada. Etc.

It’s called the transcontinental railroad, not the Intercontinental Railroad.  It could also properly be called the intracontinental railroad, I suppose, but that’s not what it has been called for over a century in the US.  If a President wants to keep using it as an example of American ingenuity, it might help if he called it the same name as all other Americans do.  As Doug Powers points out, it’s not the first time Obama has gotten this wrong, either:

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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David Strom 8:41 PM on January 30, 2023