On Wednesday night, British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke at a big fundraising event for President Obama’s re-election campaign. It was thinly disguised as a “state dinner,” because using the White House to raise campaign cash would violate some laws that even the Imperial President is still obliged to respect, but the audience was packed with big-bucks campaign contributors.
As ABC News reports, “41 of the 364 expected attendees are Obama campaign bundlers, or volunteer fundraisers who give the legal maximum and then gather checks from friends and colleagues who do the same.” Adding up that sweet campaign loot, “the group attending the dinner tonight is responsible for at least $10.7 million of the roughly $250 million Obama and Democrats have amassed for the election cycle so far.” Sadly, it looks like the king of Obama bundlers, Jon “MF Global” Corzine, was unable to attend.
ABC notes that Obama has invited contributors to White House state dinners before, but never this many. Prime Minister Cameron appeared to know exactly what the purpose of the dinner was, and did his very best to get those wallets and purses open for the re-election of Barack Obama, whose “strength, moral authority, and wisdom” stand out so strongly. Yes, he really said that. It gets worse.
Now, before you dive into the video below, let’s be clear: a visiting British Prime Minister is going to say nice things about the American president. The close relationship between Tony Blair and George Bush still provokes tooth-grinding fury among liberals on both sides of the Atlantic. Obama and Cameron are toasting each other, so mutual admiration is to be expected. As with Blair and Bush, it is fair enough to note that such praise is unlikely to rest comfortably in the ears of either man’s passionate critics. But Cameron goes way beyond praise for a special relationship in these remarks, and becomes downright obsequious.
Cameron starts off well enough, sharing some funny remarks about his basketball evening out with Obama, and talks about how the President “tried to confuse me by talking about bracketology.” This probably sounded great to the big-bucks Obama donors in the crowd, although the rest of America is getting sick and tired of Obama’s “Sun King” disdain for the duties of his office, showing himself a good time and raising funds instead of addressing the economic disaster his policies have created. “Bracketology” is a twofer, since the Obama 2012 campaign has been trying to raise money by inviting donors to match their basketball picks against the President.
There’s some fine talk about the “great history of close relationships between U.S. Presidents and British Prime Ministers,” one of which was Winston Churchill, who Cameron mocks as a dreadful house guest. Does Cameron recall that one of Obama’s first acts, upon arriving in the White House, was ripping out the bust of Churchill and shipping it back to the Brits? I’ll bet he does. I’ll bet the deep-pocketed Obama donors in the crowd remember, too.
Cameron’s odd decision to follow up with a “plumbers” joke at Richard Nixon’s expense was tailored for this political audience, as well. There was a very conspicuous absence of fond remembrance for any American or British political figure whose stature might have made for an unflattering contrast with Obama.
Then the hard-core Obama infomercial gets under way, as Cameron praises Barack the Slayer, under whose leadership “America got bin Laden” and “fundamentally weakened al Qaeda.” Cameron declares, with unintentional hilarity for anyone who knows how Obama’s statements invariably come with expiration dates, “The President says what he will do and he sticks to it.”
But the Chosen One’s strength is nothing compared to his “moral authority” and “wisdom” in Cameron’s view:
Moral authority, because Barack understands that the means matter every bit as much as the ends. Yes, America must do the right thing, but to provide moral leadership, America must do it in the right way, too. The first President I studied at school was Theodore Roosevelt. He talked of speaking softly and carrying a big stick. That is Barack’s approach. And in following it, he has pressed the reset button on the moral authority of the entire free world.
Wisdom, because Barack has not rushed into picking fights, but is steward of America’s resources of hard and soft power. He’s taken time to make considered decisions, drawing down troops from Iraq and surging in Afghanistan. He’s found a new voice for America with the Arab people. And at home, he’s recognized that in America, as in Britain, the future depends on making the best of every citizen. Both our nations have historically been held back by inequality. But now there’s a determined effort in both our countries — most notably through education reform — to ensure that opportunity is truly available for all.
Don’t worry – the crowd Cameron was addressing is perfectly happy to believe any given foreign-policy story ends when Obama and his media sycophants say it does. You may rest assured that none of them was thinking about current events in Egypt, Libya, or Afghanistan while Cameron delivered his encomiums. Most of them would look puzzled if you asked them what “Operation Fast and Furious” was. And these are Democrats, who by definition don’t think transparency and accountability have anything to do with moral fiber. Strong leaders with the right politics don’t have to answer nagging questions from the little people.
Were Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks name-checked? You bet they were!
Half a century ago, the amazing courage of Rosa Parks, the visionary leadership of Martin Luther King, and the inspirational actions of the civil rights movement led politicians to write equality into the law and make real the promise of America for all her citizens. But in the fight for justice and the struggle for freedom, there is no end, because there is so much more to do to ensure that every human being can fulfill their potential.
That is why our generation faces a new civil rights struggle, to seek the prize of the future that is open to every child as never before.
Barack has made this one of the goals of his presidency, the goal he’s pursuing with enormous courage. And it is fitting that a man whose own personal journey defines the promise and potential of this unique nation should be working to fulfill the hopes of his country in this way.
Well, you Catholics are going to have to surrender your “civil rights,” and for that matter, so is anyone else who objects to ObamaCare. Somehow the President who has taken more American liberty, grown the government more rapidly, and seized more unitary executive power than any of his predecessors is now a champion in “the struggle for freedom.” It actually does make sense, if you remember that “freedom” is now the blessed state in which other people are forced to subsidize your desires.
It strikes me as extremely patronizing that we’re back to praising Obama for his skin color and “personal journey.” As we approach the end of his first term in office, for better and worse, the President deserves to be judged on his actual record, not treated like a character in an afterschool special, or admired for the Jedi ghosts of civil-rights heroes supposedly resting their hands upon his shoulders.
Reviewing the Cameron speech, Toby Harnden at the UK Daily Mail notes that Obama has “shown arrogance and dismissiveness towards the UK in a way that President George W. Bush never did,” and asks for someone to “pass the sickbag”:
Cameron is foolish to have ignored the Republicans during this trip. Mitt Romney, the likely GOP nominee, was in New York yesterday and today and was presumably available for a meeting. Cameron’s predecessor Gordon Brown met candidates Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain in Washington in April 2008. President Obama met Cameron in London in April 2009when the Tory was opposition leader.
He only added to this error by his fawning praise of the man he referred to earlier in the day as “Mr President Barack” – which only reinforces the sense that the UK the much junior partner in the much-vaunted (in the UK) “special relationship”.
For a British prime minister to align himself with one side in American politics is a rookie error. To do it with the party on the opposite side (supposedly) of the political spectrum is pure folly.
We’re all about “pure folly” on this side of the pond nowadays, Mr. Harden.