Obamateurism of the Day

When you’re President Obama, it’s difficult to keep track of your photo ops.  It’s difficult to keep track of your regulatory adventurism.  And it’s probably even more difficult to try to cross-reference the two, as Obama found out when he made a photo-op stop in San Francisco’s Chinatown, where one of his mandates doesn’t get the respect Obama thinks it should:

President Obama purchased lunch at a San Francisco restaurant that serves shark fin soup, after signing a law last month that protects sharks from being harvested for their fins.

White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Friday that Mr. Obama didn’t know the controversial soup was on the menu when he made a surprise visit Thursday to the Great Eastern restaurant in Chinatown. Mr. Obama was in the midst of a fundraising trip on the West Coast.

The president “was not aware of this report” in San Francisco newspapers about the soup, Mr. Carney said.

Six weeks ago, Obama signed the Shark Conservation Act that will cut off the supply for the delicacy.  California has banned the sale of shark-fin products altogether, although stock already in the state at the time of the ban can still be used until the middle of next year.  One might have thought that the White House would have checked to make sure that his “surprise” stop didn’t leave Obama treading water while the snarks — er, sharks — circled him.

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!