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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Spelling error: It is: Ich bin ein Berliner.

    I before e except after C except in Deutsch.

  6. Ich bien ein Berliner.

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

  7. SwM,

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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