Are There Two Obamas?
Still trying to sort out who he is. Take the massacre at the Paris kosher market. At the time, he (in official White House statements) blamed it on Jew-hatred, and then, in what he obviously felt was a friendly interview, uttered the now-infamous phrase about how "some folks" got killed in a "random" attack..
What are we to make of this? Were the earlier statements put out, without his personal attention, by the PR underlings in the West Wing? Did he forget what he had said by the time the interview took place, and just said the first thing that popped into his head? Or was he focused on something else, something that made him think "don't say anything about anti-semitism"?
There is no doubt that he gives great speeches. People don't swoon at his presence as they did for John F. and Robert Kennedy, but they are certainly inspired. Charisma he's got.
On the other hand, when he's not scripted, he says some amazing things. A few examples:
--When he said he'd campaigned in 57 states, leaving just one more to go.
--When he bolluxed up the logic of the argument when, in support of government-run health care, he said "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems."
--When he showed he didn't know how to pronounce "corps," saying "corpse" when referring to a Navy corpsman.
--The classic line, at a San Francisco fundraiser, about voters not inclined to support him: "It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
--His remark in Vienna that he didn't know how to say something "in Austrian."
The mispronunciation was written down (but didn't save him). The others, like the "random" killers horror, were ad-libbed.
To be sure, even his scripted lines often contain shocking errors of fact, as when he credited Muslims for importing printing to the Middle East (the first printing technology was brought to Cairo by Portuguese Jews).
Such blunders document the poor quality of the president's staffers, as well as his own ignorance of history and geography. No surprise there; he's the product of a failed educational system after all. But I think the unscripted ad-libs are rather more than that, they open the channel to the inner Obama.
That's why the "random" remarks are so alarming, and are well worth the attention they've been given. They tell us a great deal about his core convictions.
I think they also point to his ongoing concerns about the long-sought deal with Iran. I think he's very careful to avoid saying or doing anything that might conceivably annoy Supreme Leader Khamenei. If he strongly denounced anti-semitic terrorism, wherever it occurs, it would challenge one of the Islamic Republic's core principles. So Obama dances around it. He doesn't go to the Auschwitz ceremony. He doesn't talk about Islamic terror. So when a questioner asks him about such things, the avoidance mechanism takes over and he slides into jive.
That is also why he won't do anything to threaten Assad, who is the lynchpin of the Iranian security system, and why he isn't more outspoken about American hostages in Iran.
Khamenei knows all this. So why should he make any deal short of total American surrender? He's already getting most everything he wants from Obama right now.