Punch Drunk: Danish Television Captures the President Delivering The Same Back-Handed Compliment To A Series Of “Little Countries”

This foreign news segment has gone viral and frankly it is pretty embarrassing. If you wonder why other countries view us as insincere and artificial, just listen to these clips of President Obama complimenting a series of “little countries” for “punching above their weight.” It is insulting on so many levels but Obama appears entirely clueless.

The collection of clips is the work of Thomas Buch-Andersen, host of the Danish TV show Detektor. He begins with Obama’s statement with Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark “That’s fairly typical of the way that Danes have punched above their weight in international affairs.” It appears a metaphor the President cannot seem to let go — at least with “little countries.” This may silence those who want the President to forego the use of teleprompters. If this is his ad lib, we need to move back to the scripted material.

The segment then moves on to Obama’s equally ham-handed treatment of valued ally comments. Truly painful to watch.

What is particularly insulting is that these statements to a litany of countries conveys a type of pat on the head for a little guy who acts like he belongs in our class. While they appear to “punch above their class,” we have mastered the back-handed compliment in return. These comments make us look not simply moronic but arrogantly moronic. It may come as a bit of a surprise that countries like Denmark (that has been engaging in diplomacy since the pre-Roman Iron Age of 500 BC – 1 AD) are really not looking for an “Attaboy!” from the United States. In the late Middle Ages (before a single pilgrim saw a single rock at Plymouth), little Denmark controlled it own slice of Estonia as well as much of Germany and the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.

It appears that the video below is our vision of diplomatic relations with most of the world:

35 thoughts on “Punch Drunk: Danish Television Captures the President Delivering The Same Back-Handed Compliment To A Series Of “Little Countries”

  1. Infinite power corrupts infinitely.

    Even the brain, which can’t function, the eyes can’t see, the ears don’t hear, the mouth says the same script.

    And the trigger finger is permanently fixed on killing.

  2. And he has scriptwriters, who get paid, and we thought him personable, honest, engaging, truthful—-or at least a good front man, actor, statesmanlike?

    Is there anything left to vote for. Oh yes, his purported good intentions.
    He has not shot an American in America—–that we know of,…….yet.

  3. Obama’s heavy reliance on cliche’ drawn no less from sports, which are invariably delivered in a halting manner, reveals a person going through the motions of dealing with the “lite” end of the business of managing and representing the business of a global empire.

    In meeting leaders of smaller countries, Obama appears to be taking a break from the real business of empire like deciding whether to keep the eleventh carrier fleet patrol the globe, signing off on target assassinations of American citizens, and getting the southern end of the XL Pipeline started while keeping certain environmental groups hoping he will not okay the rest of it. Oh, then, there is the important business of raising money at $35,000-a-plate dinners for his campaign war chest.

    Maybe he should send out one of his daughters to meet with the leaders of countries “who punch above their weight”. It would be fitting — Little people greeting little people.

    Someone should do a montage of Obama talking down to the leaders of annoying little countries — Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria — for of a real taste of Obama as Emperor. Or, better yet, try his groveling before those with real punch — Israel, Saudi Arabia, and China. And, let us not forgot how he grovels before the really Heavy Weight champions of the world — Wall Street tycoons, Big Banks, Big Oil, and of course, the captains of the Military Industrial Complex. Any wonder the Prez doesn’t have time for the Lilliputians of the world.

  4. On the one hand he is right, these “little countries” are not in the same “weight class”.

    On the other hand it is insulting and unnecessary. One of the (many) reasons the rest of the world has some justifiable animosity towards the US is our smug self self-aggrandizement.

  5. And only little people pay taxes….. And only little people pay taxes….. Seems like I’ve heard this one before…..

  6. Ah, politicians. They just never know when to shut up.

    I’m sure Santorum or Romney will do better … their such humble and taciturn men.

  7. Well! Romney it is, then!

    In 2012, this kind of crap won’t fly. Bad form. We are watching, as eyes never sleep. And now we get to decide between a war crimes accomplice and someone who cannot tell the truth and stands for nothing, backed by a party that wants to go back in time at least 100 years. O, Rapture! Open thy crack in the Firmament beneath us that we may be relieved of this terrible choice!

    Well, that didn’t work…

  8. George W. Bush:

    “I’d like to welcome the Prime Minister of Italy, the country that gave the world my favorite meal, Spaghetti-O’s.”

  9. Blouise,

    Can you lead the campaign against correcting typos and correcting mispellings of homonyms. We all do, and my typing and my english teacher get riled when I make them, but can we thumb our noses instead at them?

    The bear bared his ass and said please bear with me when I am not hiding my hide from Heidi. He and Heidi had laid their words there before us in all humility and they’re going to do it again I swear.

    Or do your own version.

  10. I do not agree with the premise of the article. Denmark is a little country. It does pull its own weight. He was not calling them BigGuy.

  11. bettykath1, March 26, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Is this really a Dutch news segment of a Danish TV show?

    Snacker du inte dansk, lil flicka? Det är inte nederlandsk du hör väl.
    Eller är du en av de många amerikaner som blir frustrerade när alla prata något annat än engelska till er. Stackers Er.
    Och nu känns det genant för Er att förstå att alla Obamas utlandska beundrare komma att förstå att han var inte så fantastisk som de trodde.
    Fy fan, livet är tuff ibland, även för presidenter.

    Hälsningar från Stockholm där våra Statsministrarna är också inte mycket att ha, och dessutom kysser de också Presidenternas arslen när de få tillfällen—och CIA alltid under mellantiden..

    Draw out your translators and have fun with that.

  12. Good post, Dredd.

    How can they both be so stupid. Here they are talking about stuff of strategic value, something which normally is done in shielded boxes.
    Shit, if you wana talk, at least do it while walking, not on a miked stage in plain sight of expert mouth readers. Geez, even Clinton learned to cover his mouth with his hand and speak close to the otherrs ear—–and he was still recorded.

    Maybe Obama was hoping he could put up a bait which the Repubs would be stupid enough to attack. He senses the country wants less tension now——and that’s a good campaign issue, it they attack and make it a win issue for him.

    Maybe, he ain’t so dumb as it appears.

  13. id707,

    re: typos … Omnia Vanitas?

    “Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast.” (L. P. Smith)

    However it could be worse:

  14. SwM,

    Just got back from the hospital with Tex. Will check out the material you posted after I get him settled in.

  15. Ich bien ein Berliner.

    I am a donut. Who said it? What glorious, movie star quality, porn star humper said that?

  16. Blouise, I hope all is well.
    Idealists I thght same thing, that maybe he was aware his words would be heard (and of course he is not 1st president to (possibly) forget, be unaware mike still on. These guys are people too.
    And I am not sure 1, since snippets, are some out of context and 2) Talkingdog has a point. It was a clumsy way of saying something positive.

  17. Blouise, my thoughts go to you.
    And thanks for such select sources. Am not properly schooled. Or did you find it yourself? Really such erudition (what does that mean?) is impressive, seriously.

  18. leejcaroll,
    agreed, but these two guys had shared the conf room for some hours before the press are brought in (after they’ve had coffee and consultation in their respective rooms) . They don’t need that occasion to exchange info with each other one on one.

    It’s a set-up agreed on in advance. Am sure the word came to them, “The mikes are open”, so that the little playlet can proceed for the edification of all who are naive—–and that doesn’t include the press—-they’ve been used too many times before. But we are, even I……..!!!!!!!!
    Fancy that.

    Feel line a patsy? I do. (As in 1 below.)

    Slang. 1. a person who is easily swindled, deceived, coerced, persuaded, etc.; sucker. 2. a person upon whom the blame for something falls; scapegoat; fall guy.

  19. Idealist, no I dont. I believe like as not it was done for public hearing. As a voter if this is how he feels he can be heard (no pun) then it is fine with me.

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