Saturday, March 7, 2009

Obama Administration: Amateur Hour at the White House

In a clever-by-half move to symbolize their desire to "hit the rest button" on our relations with Russia, the Obama administration via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red "reset" button. The problem is, instead of finding the Russian word for "reset" they managed to use a variation of it that means "overcharged"!

This despite Clinton's proud pronouncement at the event that they worked really hard to get the precise word for "reset"!

This begs the question, with the vast resources of the United States government at their disposal, the Obama administration cannot manage to find ONE person who actually understands the Russian language?

The more subtle humor I found here was that presenting a "red button" to our Cold War nemesis seemed strikingly odd considering the years we spent worrying about who was going to push "The Button" first! I'm surprised they didn't just run down to Staples to pick up an "Easy Button"!

A second display of brilliance occurred with the visit of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Brown presented Obama with a pen holder carved from the oak timbers of the Victorian anti-slaver ship HMS Gannet, once named HMS President. It was a sister ship of the HMS Resolute from which the Oval Office's desk is made. In addition, Brown presented Obama a first edition of a seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill. Both were unique and thoughful gifts.

Showing their equally amazing capacity for thoughtfulness, Obama presented Brown with 25 DVDs of some of Obama's favorite movies.

Nothing like a last-minute trip to Wal-Mart to find a gift for a visting foreign dignitary!

As someone else quipped, this is truly "Amateur Hour" at the White House, and portends endless entertainment for the next four years.

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