We Know You're Black. Now Try Being President.

Mark Steyn on the Obama amateur hour:

My radio pal Hugh Hewitt said to me on the air the other day that Barack Obama “doesn’t know how to be president.” It was a low but effective crack, and I didn’t pay it much heed. But, after musing on it over the past week or so, it seems to me frighteningly literally true. I don’t just mean social lapses like his latest cringe-making bow, this time to Their Imperial Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan – though that in itself is deeply weird: After the world superbower’s previous nose-to-toe prostration before the Saudi king, one assumed there’d be someone in the White House to point out tactfully that the citizen-executives of the American republic don’t bow to foreign monarchs. Along with his choreographic gaucherie goes his peculiar belief that all of human history is just a bit of colorful back story in the Barack Obama biopic – or as he put it in his video address on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall:

“Few would have foreseen on that day that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent.” In this Nov. 14, 2009, photo U.S. President Barack Obama bows as he is greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, not pictured, upon arrival at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Obama’s awkward encounter with Akihito – bows are not meant to accompany physical contact – is not even the first time the president, a Democrat in office less than a year, has been criticized for his greeting of a foreign leader: Critics accused him of genuflecting to Saudi King Abdullah at a G-20 summit earlier this year.

Tear down that wall …so they can get a better look at me!!! Is there no-one in the White House grown-up enough to say, “Er, Mr. President, that’s really the kind of line you get someone else to say about you”? And maybe somebody could have pointed out that Nov. 9, 1989, isn’t about him but about millions of nobodies whose names are unknown, who lead dreary lives doing unglamorous jobs and going home to drab accommodations, but who, at a critical moment in history, decided they were no longer going to live in a prison state. They’re no big deal, they’re never going to land a photoshoot for Vanity Fair. But it’s their day, not yours. It’s not the narcissism, so much as the crassly parochial nature of it.

…Some years ago, when Ellen DeGeneres came out as a lesbian and ensuing episodes of her sitcom grew somewhat overly preoccupied with the subject, Elton John remarked: “OK, we know you’re gay. Now try being funny.” I wonder if Sir Elton might be prevailed upon to try a similar pitch at the next all-star White House gala: OK, we know you’re black. Now try being president. But a few days later, Obama dropped in on U.S. troops at Osan Air Base in South Korea for the latest episode of The Barack Obama Show (With Full Supporting Chorus). “You guys make a pretty good photo op,” he told them.

Hmm. Do I detect a belated rationale for the Afghan campaign?

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