Lame duck presidents are usually weakened, after making too many enemies, by having had to make decisions which this or that group disapproved of. The groups disapproving of a presidential decision add up and before you know it the president is despised and weakened. At that point the lame duck president takes to the foreign road. [Note, President Bill Clinton left office with extraordinarily high approval ratings for his many actual accomplishments. Bill Clinton earned his approval ratings and was not gifted a Nobel for doing NOTHING.]
Foreign travel is usually a cheap way to gain popularity for a president weakened by domestic trouble. Foreign travel is a good way for a president to distract from a failed domestic agenda. Cheering foreign crowds are a way to hide domestic discontent and domestic boobery by a president.
Speaking of “you just ain’t no good”:
Unemployment hits 9.4 percent. President Obama flies to France.
Joblessness reaches 9.7 percent. Obama jets off to Denmark.
The rate of those out of work soars to 10.2 percent. Obama packs his bags for Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea.
Faced with the worst domestic economy in decades, the president has responded — by setting a record for foreign travel. An Asian swing that began Thursday will bring his total this year to 20 countries in eight trips, according to CBS News’s Mark Knoller, official statistician of the White House press corps.
That easily bests the previous record-holder, George H.W. Bush, who hit 14 countries in his first year. By the time he returns next week, Obama will have spent more than 12 percent of his presidency overseas — and he still has another trip or two in the works for this year.
George H. W. Bush was regularly condemned for being disconnected from the sufferings of ordinary Americans and running away from domestic troubles. George W. Bush was a one term president.
In defense of Obama’s constant travels Big Media and Big Boy Blogs cite Obama’s popularity overseas as an accomplishment. Many leaders are popular overseas and despised at home and the hit-the-road strategy is not restricted to American boobs.
By some measures, in fact, foreigners have a more favorable view of Obama than Americans do.
Eighty-six percent of Britons, 88 percent of Canadians, 91 percent of French and 93 percent of Germans say they have confidence in him. So do 85 percent of Japanese, 88 percent of Nigerians and 77 percent of Indians. All those figures trump Americans’ confidence in their own president — 74 percent when the poll was done in the spring.
That could explain why Obama seems to enjoy spending so much time with the foreign media. As president, he has had a dozen sit-down sessions with journalists from across the world; his first interview in the White House was with al-Arabiya television. His foreign questioners tend to be a bit less skeptical than their American counterparts. The French TV interviewer peppered Obama with such queries as, “What do you love about France, if I may ask?” and “The wine? Did you go to Provence?”
In Cairo, reporters from the Muslim world took turns congratulating Obama for the speech he had just given. A reporter from Indonesia gave the president an update on his childhood neighborhood and school. The BBC, in its interview, inquired about his personal reading. The Canadian journalist spoke about hockey. The reporter from Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency spoke about the first lady’s vegetable garden, then presented Obama with a nesting doll of American politicians: [snip]
As he prepared to leave the White House on Thursday morning, Obama first stopped to address the cameras in the Diplomatic Reception Room. “Before departing for Asia this morning, I’d like to make a brief statement about the economy,” he said, assuring Americans that he’ll “be meeting with leaders abroad to discuss a strategy for growth” and to make sure “Asian and Pacific markets are open to our exports.”
Nineteen minutes later, Marine One and the peripatetic president were airborne again.
Four hours after that, Obama was safely over Canada when his Treasury Department announced another record monthly budget deficit.
Of course, being popular overseas is easy when you disparage the United States abroad and bow before potentates.
When we wrote The Corrupt Bow To The Corrupt it was about Obama bowing to the Saudi King. We detailed the history of Americans not bowing to the powerful. Bowing is against State Department protocol. We recalled the history of attacks on Bill Clinton:
It wasn’t a bow, exactly. But Mr. Clinton came close. He inclined his head and shoulders forward, he pressed his hands together. It lasted no longer than a snapshot, but the image on the South Lawn was indelible: an obsequent President, and the Emperor of Japan.
Canadians still bow to England’s Queen; so do Australians. Americans shake hands. If not to stand eye-to-eye with royalty, what else were 1776 and all that about? [snip]
But the “thou need not bow” commandment from the State Department’s protocol office maintained a constancy of more than 200 years. Administration officials scurried to insist that the eager-to-please President had not really done the unthinkable.
President Bill Clinton was excoriated for inclining foward when we met the Emperor of Japan. Obama bows from the waist, like a courtesan, and not a peep from Big Media. It’s happened before:
We criticized Barack Obama when he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. Americans do not bow to royalty. When the royal is the ruling tyrant of a despotic regime, the wrong is compounded. Obama’s bowing to the King was deeply offensive.
When the story emerged from the shadows of the Internet, Ben Smith ran an item on Politico with the White House denying the bow. “It wasn’t a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he’s taller than King Abdullah,” said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Bill O’Reilly ran a bemused segment on it once the White House denied what Obama had done.
A reporter asked Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs about the bow. Under his own name and on the record, Gibbs denied what any fool could see. Indeed, one astute observer commented on CNN that “Ray Charles could see that he bowed.”
Obama has now done it again. Andrew Malcolm asks (and reports): “How low will he go? Obama gives Japan’s Emperor Akihito a wow bow.”
Obama’s breach of protocol is of a piece with the substance of his foreign policy. He means to teach Americans to bow before monarchs and tyrants. He embodies the ideological multiculturalism that sets the United States on the same plane as other regimes based on tribal privilege and royal bloodlines. He gives expressive form to the idea that the United States now willingly prostrates itself before the rest of the world. He declares that the United States is a country like any other, only worse, because we have so much for which to apologize.
Powerline also displays a photograph of a very relaxed General Douglas McArthur with Emperor Hirochito. McArthur came from an era when Americans were sure “all men are created equal” (women were still excluded) and Americans did not bow to the powerful or the full of themselves. Now Americans worship celebrities who do nothing yet get Nobel prizes. Foreign potentates now get bows from an American president who thinks he is a Hollywood starlet dispensing air kisses.
Byron York is also waiting to hear how Obama will lie about the latest bow:
Remember when Barack Obama bowed before the King of Saudi Arabia at the G-20 summit in London last April? Even though the bow was captured by still and video photographers, the White House denied that it had taken place. “It wasn’t a bow,” an unnamed White House official told the Politico’s Ben Smith. “He grasped his hand with two hands, and he’s taller than King Abdullah.”
The controversy raged in the blogosphere, but most of the old press ignored the question — especially after the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee injected a bit of partisanship when it said Obama had “paid fealty” to Abdullah with the bow. Obama’s defenders, while not conceding that the president had bowed to the king, said George W. Bush had done the same thing earlier. The issue festered for a few days until a CNN reporter asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs about it:
QUESTION: When the President met with King Abdullah, there was something that took place which I believe the White House explained was just the president being taller than the king. We took a look at the video, and it does appear that the president actually bowed to King Abdullah. Did he bow or didn’t he?
GIBBS: No, I think he bent over with both, to shake — with both hands to shake his hand, so I don’t–
QUESTION: Did he bow or didn’t he?
So the official word was: Obama didn’t bow. Now, we have a new photo of the president bowing to the emperor of Japan. It’s the kind of image that just doesn’t sit well with many Americans. The president, as the elected representative of the United States, should not be in the habit of bowing to foreign leaders, royal or not. Obama’s deep, subservient bow makes it even worse; this was no little nod.
What will the White House explanation be? Emperor Akihito is certainly shorter than Obama, so perhaps the White House will roll out the old “he’s taller than King Abdullah” story. Perhaps Gibbs will deny that it happened at all. Neither will fly. This is something the president should explain.
Obama can’t be trusted. Big Media can’t be trusted. Obama provides the same stick-butt-in-the-air bow to Emperor he displayed to King and Big Media remains stick-butt-in-the-air worshipful.
In The Corrupt Bow To The Corrupt we ended our post, referencing the bow to the Saudi King not the Emperor, with words which are appropriate as well today:
Big Media and PINO Big Blogs did not take notice of corrupt Obama bowing and scraping before the corrupt monarch because silence was their own corrupt bow to the corrupt.
Corrupt Big Media and PINO Big Blog Boys will not take notice of Obama bowing and scraping before potentates. Silence is their own corrupt bow to the corrupt.