Just what I was thinking:
So with one word, Obama both offended the British and made himself a laughingstock with the Latin Americans.
John Hinderaker said it, and Instapundit has just linked to it. The one word being “Maldives” for “Malvinas”. Causing this much derision and contempt with just the one word is indeed quite an achievement. I’m betting the Maldiveans are not that impressed either.
The British media, the BBC in particular, mostly treat Obama, still, as some kind of Holy Sage, whose every word is Truth and whose every enemy is Evil and Stupid. How could any American with brain cells in the plural possibly object to “free health care”?
In the BBC’s parallel universe, only the previous President was capable of gaffes on this globe-spanning scale. But can anyone think of a GWB jnr gaffe that is any gaffer, as it were, than this “Maldives” clanger? Thought: they should call Obama “The Gaffer”.
It will be very interesting to see what the BBC now makes of this, if anything.
The Daily Telegraph’s Jonathan Gilbert describes this error as uncharacteristic, saying that this was the kind of thing Bush did do, but Obama doesn’t. Hinderaker says different:
When did Mr. Bush ever display such geographic ignorance?
Anyone? I can’t remember anything from Bush that was this doltish. Comically non-existent new words, yes. But blunders like this on matters of diplomatic significance? Not that I can remember. But then I never did think Bush was an idiot, and preferred to listen to what he said rather than dwell on the errors he sometimes committed while saying it.
(I don’t think Obama is a complete idiot either. He was, after all, clever enough to get the Presidency, in defiance of the wishes of the Clinton clan. And clever enough then to use it to do real damage to most Americans’ idea of what America is, even if not as much as he might have managed, had he been even cleverer.)
Our own Perry de Havilland wants Obama to win. He reckons the Republican chap with be a Cameronian disaster, who will, by talking free markets but by doing business as usual, will ensure that our side gets blamed for all the ordure that has yet to hurtle towards the fan.
This sort of equal opportunities offensiveness from Obama makes it that much harder for Perry to get his way.