The lame walk, the blind see, the homeless have Mcmansions.....
Observe the excruciatingly purple prose of the AP as they report this miraculous ascension of national spirit:
People gawked and cameras clicked as the Obamas cut a wide figure through the French capital even while confined to a presidential motorcade. It was more personal for the few kept not so distant -- the restaurant owner who "saw God," the chauffeur reveling in a "magnificent mission."
President Barack Obama, wife Michelle and their two daughters touched lives in simple ways during a private stay in the French capital that closed out a six-day presidential tour rich in history, symbolism and giant messages to the world.
Even a Sunday visit to the gilded Elysee presidential palace was casual and intimate. I don't know about that, but media sycophancy has reached new heights...
The luncheon hosted by President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla, for Michelle and the two Obama daughters looked like an advance fete for Sasha's 8th birthday this Wednesday. The Obama trio, lingering a bit in the City of Light after the president's departure, then went shopping at the high-end Left Bank store for children, "Bonpoint."
Media scrutiny of the family was intense. The French are confirmed fans of the Obamas, whose politics and elegant style conform to their ideal vision of the United States. The couple makes frequent appearances on the covers of French magazines. Michelle Obama, whose wardrobe choices are analyzed, gets an A-plus for sartorial glamor, natural poise and sheer intelligence.
But the common touch the first American couple represents, so antithetical to the traditional pomp and circumstance of French heads of state, sets them apart.
When dining out Saturday night at a no-star bistro, La Fontaine de Mars, the presidential party was served water, Coke and table wine to accompany foie gras, lamb and steak with shallots, and paid for meals "like any client," said owner Jacques Boudon. "It's just what they wanted."
"And I think they were very happy since they stayed three-quarters of an hour after dining," he said by telephone.
Boudon was over the moon. The table had been reserved 10 days earlier but he only knew his guests were the Obamas that morning.
"I saw God before me," he said, "because I saw this smile that a million people have seen around the world. I saw her (Michelle) radiant. ... It's idiotic, but it's like that."
It was no surprise that the streets of Paris were lined with well-wishers. When the Obamas dined out, neighbors in nearby apartments hung from windows hoping for a glimpse. Some real fans hung their building with a handmade sign reading "We love you Obama."
Even the conservative Sarkozy appreciates Obama's personal style and, multiplying direct contact with citizens, is desanctifying the office.
Sarkozy had worked to lure Obama to France, trying to get him here in early April between a G20 summit in London and a NATO summit in Germany and Strasbourg, in eastern France. Obama said it was a squeeze and suggested the D-Day commemoration at Normandy, a presidential official has said.
On the family's Paris agenda were Notre Dame Cathedral on Saturday evening. There, Obama lit a candle and listened to a children's choir. On Sunday morning, it was the Pompidou Center, the modern art mecca in central Paris, where two exhibitions are currently featured, the works of American sculptor Alexander Calder and Vassily Kandinsky, the Russian-born painter who helped pioneer abstract art.
The family spent some 90 minutes inside the museum, distinguished by its exposed colored piping, and at one point the president was seen waving from a top-floor glassed-in walkway that provides a sweeping view of the city.
But it was the few brief minutes that Obama spent with 61-year-old Gerard Daldoss and other drivers in the presidential motorcade that mattered. Before climbing into his limousine in the Pompidou Center's underground parking garage, Obama shook the men's hands, then posed for a group photo. "It's fantastic. What a beautiful souvenir!" exclaimed a beaming Daldoss.
He said he has worked in motorcades for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush without ever getting such hands-on gratitude. "The others were nice but not more than that," Daldoss said. "I retire in a few months. This is a magnificent mission."
The tourism followed a somber remembrance Saturday on the 65th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with Sarkozy and elderly veterans, preceded by a visit to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany and an address in Cairo to the world's Muslims, a bold effort to heal enmity toward the United States borne by large swaths of the Islamic world.
At his own behest, Obama had flown into Paris on Friday night without a formal airport welcome from Sarkozy, while Michelle and the kids were visiting the Eiffel Tower.
Some French pundits wonder whether Sarkozy's admiration for Obama is reciprocal. Their meetings have so far been official -- unlike the picnic-style lunch Sarkozy shared with the Bush family at their Kennebunkport, Maine, compound shortly after taking office.
However, a visible sign of Obama's French connection may just be his own family's decision to linger in the land of France after his departure -- and have an informal Sarkozy moment with the kids.
The tone here would do justice to a North Korean account of one of the Dear Leader's outings.
As a media historian I can think of no precedent for this level of sycophancy in the western free press, at least not since the beginning of the twentieth century. You have to go back to controlled press coverage of Mao and Stalin to find anything remotely similar.
I can't understand the outright worship of this empty man. There is nothing behind his words. He turns pretty phrases and gives pretty speaches that are vapid, self-serving, and show a painful lack of historical knowledge.
Posted by: Deacon Blues ||
06/07/2009 18:09 Comments ||
So will it be grape coolaid or green? This is sickening...
Posted by: 49 Pan ||
06/07/2009 18:24 Comments ||
On the other hand Obama walking alone unrecognized in a Parisian banlieue might not work out that well
Posted by: European Conservative ||
06/07/2009 18:26 Comments ||
The ludicrously overblown tone of this article reminds me of a classic story from the heyday of print journalism, the 1920s. An eager young reporter was sent to western Pennsylvania to cover a massive and damaging flood.
His first report started with the words, "God sat on a hill and laughed as the town of (whatever) died."
His hard-boiled editor wired back, "Forget flood, interview God, get pictures."
"Michelle Obama, whose wardrobe choices are analyzed, gets an A-plus for sartorial glamor, natural poise and sheer intelligence"
Coco must be rolling in her grave
Posted by: European Conservative ||
06/07/2009 18:34 Comments ||
BTW the Fontaine de Mars isn't exactly your run of the mill bistro where you rub shoulders with workers. It's in the posh 7th district and rated one of the best of its kind.
Also don't tell PETA about the foie gras (torturing of geese)
Posted by: European Conservative ||
06/07/2009 18:37 Comments ||
my comment at AOSHQ: #44 I heard Chris Matthews offered to be the President's Taster, and was disappointed when he found out it was for the food
Posted by: Frank G at June 07, 2009 11:28 AM (Aaspy)
Posted by: Frank G ||
06/07/2009 18:38 Comments ||
I'm kinda proud of that one
Posted by: Frank G ||
06/07/2009 18:39 Comments ||
Everytime I see such stories I am irresistibly reminded of this:
Here lies a fallen god
His fall was not a small one,
We did but build his pedestal
A narrow and a tall one
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
06/07/2009 19:13 Comments ||
The Obama adulation in the German media is fading every so slightly.
Posted by: European Conservative ||
06/07/2009 19:18 Comments ||
"Coco must be rolling in her grave."
Heck, she's revolving in it like a Black & Decker drill, at so many RPMs, you could hook up a generator and provide electricity to a large percentage of the City of Light on the output.
President Obamas reluctance to spend more than minimum time with the French leader on his visit for the D-Day anniversary has come as an embarrassment to the Elysée Palace.
Americas First Family will not be dining with President Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, even though they are staying at the residence of the US Ambassador, yards from the Elysée apartments where the Sarkozys spend their weekends.
Mr Sarkozys dream date (haha!) would be dinner somewhere spectacular
WHY, why do people think that Michelle dresses well?
My wife says that she wouldn't "hang dead over a fence" with most of her dresses
Posted by: European Conservative ||
06/07/2009 20:10 Comments ||
Rift With Germany Is Next on Diplomatic Agenda On a more basic level, there is a sense that the Obama administration is ignoring the needs and counsel of longtime allies. Divided Germany was once at the center not only of the cold war, but of American foreign policy as well, which is no longer the case. Yet the United States can ill afford to alienate Europes largest economy and its most important intermediary in the strained relationship with Russia. Theyre not angry, theyre not anti-Obama or anti-American, said John C. Kornblum, a former United States ambassador to Germany and now a business adviser in Berlin. But theyre confused by the wave of criticism which has been sent at them by the administration and people close to the administration.
Its not that they dont like him, he said. They just feel like things arent working, like the levers of government are not being engaged to make issues run smoothly.
Well, after Obambi is done turning water into wine, let's see him go out and walk around the Zones Urbaines Sensibles of Paris - I guess we'll see what kind of success he cn achieve in getting the "lion to lie down with the lamb." My guess - not so much.
I can't figure Mrs. Obama out - she always looks so angry and miserable in her pictures, and you have to figure the media is showing the GOOD ones. Why is she angry now? Because of all that racial discrimination she suffers? As First Lady?
My wife says that she wouldn't "hang dead over a fence" with most of her dresses.
I quite agree with your wife, European Conservative. But you see, if President Barack Hussein Obama, as he now styles himself, is John F. Kennedy reborn, then Michelle Obama must be the beautiful, charming, trend setting Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (later Onassis). Reality has no impact on such minds when there is a myth to redefine the images transmitted from the space before their eyes.
I am anxious to hear what she has to say about her 'poor choice of words'.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon ||
06/07/2009 11:36 Comments ||
How long would a white, male farmer and judge from Nebraska last as a candidate if he would have made a comment like that about a female from Latin America? Let's get OFF the double standard. Move along Judge Sotomayor. NEXT please.
Richard, for Republican Senators to ask about the remarks would be racist.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia ||
06/07/2009 11:45 Comments ||
Calling her "Hispanic", a meaningless term invented by the Reagan administration, that sort of means "non-white other", is just a joke. She is a Puerto Rican.
An editorial cartoon depicted her as a Mexican pinata and wearing a Mexican sombrero, which she got rightfully very pissed off about, because "Hispanics" often despise the "Hispanics" of other countries. They have virtually no intermarriage, though they will marry anyone else who is not "Hispanic".
"Hispanic" is about as stupid as calling all Europeans "Germanic". Well, they all speak German, don't they?
"Latino" is as bad, officially as "a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race."
Absolutely no love lost between Boricua (Puerto-Ricans) and Mexicans (not Cubans either).
That per my buddies and family friends from PR (one of whom "disowns that bitch"). They look down on Mexicans because Mexicans "didn't fight to keep their own land, unlike the common people of Puerto Rico, who love liberty" (per my wife's friend who is a Boricua from NYC - those are her words not mine).
if she is so wise, how come she only is capable of giving one speech, recyled a half dozen times in a decade?
Posted by: lord garth ||
06/07/2009 19:08 Comments ||
"If she is so wise, how come she only is capable of giving one speech, recyled a half dozen times in a decade?"
Damn, Garth - that has so got to leave a mark!
BTW, the San Antonio Tea Party is fielding a protest in front of Senator Cornyn's local office in San Antonio, WRT to the Sotomayor nomination. Tuesday, at 11 AM. We are demanding that Senator Cornyn take our concerns into account, when considering her nomination to the highest court in the land. It's the "living document" aspect to her view of the Constitution that bothers us ... the racism comes in second.
Ah well - we are living in interesting times, aren't we?
Sen. Arlen Specter told Pennsylvania's Democratic leaders Saturday he's "pleased and proud" to be back in the party he left shortly after launching his political career more than four decades ago.
"I'm no longer a Republican in name only. I'm again a Democrat," the fifth term senator said in an introductory speech to the Democratic State Committee at a downtown hotel.
Specter's speech capped two days of speechmaking and socializing in which the atmosphere of party unity that Gov. Ed Rendell and state party Chairman T.J. Rooney sought was clouded only by a small union rally and low-key campaigning by prospective Specter challengers in the 2010 primary.
Specter, 79, said his immigrant parents were FDR Democrats, and that he was a JFK Democrat. He said he stayed in the party until after he won his first elective office -- Philadelphia district attorney -- on the Republican ticket in 1965 and he enrolled in the GOP after the general election.
In a speech punctuated frequently by applause, he ticked off a list of issues -- increases in the minimum wage, abortion rights, environmental protection, stem-cell research -- on which he has voted with the Democrats even though he was a Republican. "It is really my independence that has made me strong, made me better able to represent Pennsylvania, to deliver for Pennsylvania and strong enough to come back to the party," he said.
At a Friday night dinner honoring the late Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll, Rendell said Specter "has voted and acted to support the constituencies that we care about" during his 29 years in the Senate. He said the senator showed courage in casting one of three GOP votes for the $787 economic stimulus package. "He cast the vote knowing that it would put his political career in peril," the governor said.
When the system rewards seniority and is open ended, people vote themselves as much power as they can get. Some are more equal than others. Term limits will not remove all the effects of seniority but it will hobble it enough to force people to look up and see who they're actually voting for when they pull the lever on a more frequent basis.
Term limits have worked well in California. There voters have at least as much information as voters anywhere. But they keep electing donk legislatures because the donks bribe them with programs. So the unions control the legislative agenda. It's how a republic degenerates into a democracy and then anarchy. These are not the good old days.
Yeah, some are. Many just vote their interest, which is what Fat Eddie $pendell, murtha, et al. give 'em, which is, money out of other peoples' pockets. We do need term limits, and a stop to a system that lets some people vote themselves a hand in other peoples' pockets. Difficult, but hopefully not impossible...
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
06/07/2009 11:49 Comments ||
I'm hoping my PA comrades will make Specter an "pleased and proud" retiree.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.