O2 for the O’s

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Family Night for Obamas Miffs Some in Moscow, and for good reason:

The decision to brush off the Russians on one of his two nights here miffed some in the Moscow government who did not understand why he would not devote the scarce time to his hosts. Mr. Obama had dinner with President Dmitri A. Medvedev on Monday and lunch with him on Tuesday.

What we have here is a failure to communicate: Pres. Obama’s foreign host, be it Sarkozy, Dmitri Medvedev, or whoever the next dignitary may be, naively considers the office and duties of head of state to be the top priority during state visits. They simply don’t understand that the endless self-promotion and apology tours are mere background opportunities for Obama to showcase himself as above all such mundane concerns:

The first family enjoyed a relaxed evening at the O2 Lounge, the super-chic, super-pricey rooftop club at the new Ritz-Carlton, although no doubt the Secret Service first cleared the place of most if not all of the swaggering tycoons and leggy models who flock to such Moscow venues.

They could not ask for a more scenic vista. The glass-enclosed O2 offers a panoramic view of Moscow, including Red Square and the Kremlin, all the more striking as the lingering summer sun sets after 10 p.m. The club is “a place to see and be seen,” as its Web site says — that is, unless you are a visiting president who after a day and a half of blinis, beluga and bilats (the diplo term for “bilateral meetings”) just wants to hang out with the clan.

And what better place for the O’s to hang out than the O2, which might even have been named after him? I wonder if Spike Lee’s lawyer is listening.

And why shouldn’t Obama regard these state visits as simple background for himself? The NYTimes certainly doesn’t mind:

Mr. Obama has seemed tired here, several times fumbling the pronunciation of Mr. Medvedev’s name and Mr. Putin’s title. Beginning a speech here, he mistakenly said he first met his wife in school instead of at the law firm where they actually met. And he misstated his younger daughter’s age.

As Erik says,

With Barack Obama, what do we get? “Mr. Obama has seemed tired.” No, not “he was (is) clueless”, not “he was (is) unprepared”, not even “he was tired” that day, no, “Mr. Obama has seemed tired.”

Can You Imagine the Uproar If George W. Bush Had Gotten the Age of His Daughters Wrong?!

But Erik, back then the press was not blinded by The Lighttm enough to realize that b-s’ing people with hockey player names and the such was not proof of your mental agility when compared with your forgetting important family details such as where you actually first met the Mrs and your daughter’s age.

CNN is equally besotted, Obama girls take Russia by storm, and so is Stylist, exclaiming Michelle Obama’s Style for Russia Trip – What a Fashionable First Family!

The Russians, on the other hand, having lived with centuries’ worth of narcissistic egotists passing as heads of state, were underwhelmed by Obama:

Crowds did not clamor for a glimpse of him. Headlines offered only glancing or flippant notice of his activities. Television programming was uninterrupted; devotees of the Russian Judge Judy had nothing to fear. Even many students and alumni of the Western-oriented business school where Mr. Obama gave the graduation address on Tuesday seemed merely respectful, but hardly enthralled.

We don’t really understand why Obama is such a star,” said Kirill Zagorodnov, 25, one of the graduates. “It’s a question of trust, how he behaves, how he positions himself, that typical charisma, which in Russia is often parodied. Russians really are not accustomed to it. It is like he is trying to manipulate the public.”

Buy young Kirill a beer!

The Times, however, can’t make out why the tepid reception, deploring,

Even Michelle Obama, who typically enjoys admiring coverage in the local news media when she travels, has not had her every move chronicled here.

As Daniel Drezner put it,

Seriously? Seriously?! The President of the United States visits a staunchly nationalist country that has significant conflicts with Washington, and the charm offensive didn’t take? Well, blow me down!!

Ralph Peters is nowhere near as sanguine as the NYT and CNN about Obama’s Russian trip: DESPERATE DEAL
OBAMA’S MOSCOW GIVEAWAY

He agreed to trim our nuclear-warhead arsenal by one-third and — even more dangerously — to cut the systems that deliver the nuclear payloads. In fact, the Russians don’t care much about our warhead numbers (which will be chopped to a figure “between 1,500 and 1,675″). What they really wanted — and got — was a US cave-in regarding limits on our nuclear-capable bombers, submarines and missiles that could leave us with as few as 500 such systems, if the Russians continue to get their way as the final details are negotiated.

Moscow knows we aren’t going to start a nuclear war with Russia. Putin (forget poor “President” Dmitry Medvedev) wants to gut our conventional capabilities to stage globe-spanning military operations. He wants to cut us down to Russia’s size.

Our problem is that many nuclear-delivery systems — such as bombers or subs — are “dual-use”: A B-2 bomber can launch nukes, but it’s employed more frequently to deliver conventional ordnance.

Putin sought to cripple our ability to respond to international crises. Obama, meanwhile, was out for “deliverables” — deals that could be signed in front of the cameras. Each man got what he wanted.

And that’s enough to give anyone nightmares.

Special thanks to Maria (who knows Russia well) for the links.

UPDATE
The Obamafication of Great Power Arms Control
Welcome, Anchoress readers. Please visit often.

Update 2
Miss Obama’s peacenik T-shirt sends a message to G8 leaders

She wore a grey T-shirt to visit the Colosseum in Rome with mother Michelle and sister Sasha, seven, and then appeared to have whipped it off to reveal a mottled white and grey top also bearing the CND logo.

The symbol, designed for the CND in 1958, is now widely used as to signify peace and is also an international sign for anti-war protesters.

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6 Responses to “O2 for the O’s”

  1. The Anchoress — A First Things Blog Says:

    […] be a week’s worth of sneers and outrage, if he had an R after his name. Obama’s diss: Fausta on Obama, Russia and “Trendy” O2 Obama’s World Love: Not playing well…not well at all Obama’s […]

  2. March Hare Says:

    “The first family enjoyed a relaxed evening at the O2 Lounge, the super-chic, super-pricey rooftop club

    And folks think Mrs. Palin used her children as campaign props?

    How much is this dragging around the First Family costing us? I thought Mrs. Robinson (Mrs. Obama’s mother) was living in the White House to act as a babysitter and to give the girls a somewhat regular (if not normal) lifestyle?

    The only time we heard about the Bush twins was when they got busted for buying beer while underage. (Okay–that’s an exaggeration. But still…)

  3. March Hare Says:

    “The first family enjoyed a relaxed evening at the O2 Lounge, the super-chic, super-pricey rooftop club…”

    And folks think Mrs. Palin used her children as campaign props?

    How much is this dragging around the First Family costing us? I thought Mrs. Robinson (Mrs. Obama’s mother) was living in the White House to act as a babysitter and to give the girls a somewhat regular (if not normal) lifestyle?

    The only time we heard about the Bush twins was when they got busted for buying beer while underage. (Okay–that’s an exaggeration. But still…)

  4. Washington Rebel Says:

    Proud America…

    A Macabre Circus: Scarred and Boogered Can I have a Glove? 40% of American Mothers Unwed Meanwhile, in the land of the Great Nuanced — Mr. Obama has seemed tired here, several times fumbling the pronunciation of Mr. Medvedev’s name and Mr. Putin’s…

  5. john jay Says:

    fausta:

    a wonderful post.

    scary as hell. i have printed it in full at my shop, and asked my readership, which is in the 10’s daily, to drop on over here.

    in short, i don’t know how much “readership” you will get from my blog, but, i hope some.

    thank you for a very insightful post, and thanks for the link to the peters’ article at the end.

    it is all rather ominous. he intends to dismantel our defense structure, and leave us no longer the paramount power in the world.

    this is so stupid.

    there will be a lot of unrest in warfare as the world “sorts itself out,” as the u.s. leaves it various spheres of influence. in short, the little guys are going to scrap over who gets to be the big guy as the u.s. is pulled from the world stage by this idiot.

    john jay

  6. Helen Says:

    Oh for goodness sake, why is he always so tired? Doesn’t he get enough sleep? Being President is hard but it is what he wanted to be. This is bloody embarrassing, to use a good old-fashioned English expression. The Russians are not going to find this sort of thing impressive. What they found impressive is Mrs Thatcher who was alert, happy to talk to anyone and made mince-meat (in a very charming way) of journalists who questioned her.