President Obama has been on what I would characterize as his farewell tour, where on the first leg Obama visits Cuba and gets in some chill time with the Castro brother’s (see an earlier post, Mr. Obama, it’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and then goes south to Brazil to take in some dance lessons. This first leg is what I call the “Spread the Love” tour. The next leg is what I call “Spread the Disrespect” tour.
Obama’s first stop was to Saudi Arabia where he had hoped to get treated like royalty, so that he could return the favor by lecturing the royal family on the virtues of his total capitulation to Iran via the Nuke deal, but they beat him to the disrespect punch by greeting him at the airport by some lower level non-royalty person/official dude.
President Obama brushes off the snub and sits down with King Salman across a table full of flowers explaining why the Iran nuke deal is so good for Saudi Arabia while the king appears either uninterested or simply cannot be torn away from his laptop computer and something else of “interest”.
So there is Obama’s first bust. Didn’t get any love at all in Saudi Arabia so onto Great Britain and that is when Bustgate rears its busty head.
A little history is in order at this point. When Barak Obama won the presidency in 2008, one of the very first things he did after ordering new pens with his name on it, was to have the bust of Winston Churchill removed from the Oval Office and have it sent back to Great Britain or so claims sources in England. The bust had been lent to the White House and President George W. Bush by PM Tony Blair during the Iraq War apparently as some gesture or token of inspiration.
The White House claims that the bust was never sent back to England and was only moved from the Oval Office to another location in the White House called the Treaty Room so that Obama could make room for a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. At some point, proof of Churchill’s bust making the return trip to England is confirmed, however, the White House is not conceding anything and insist that they too have a bust of Churchill and prove it to PM David Cameron on a visit to the White House.
Stay with me- it now appears that for a time there were at least two Churchill busts floating the halls of the White House and that a duplicate had been made while the original was being repaired (I know, that means that somebody broke the damn thing- hmmm… “please take these pieces of Churchill and relocate them to the Treaty Room”).
It is the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who re-ignites the bust controversy when he makes the following charge just prior to the president arriving in London:
“something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009. Something vanished from that room, and no one could quite explain why. It was a bust of Winston Churchill — the great British wartime leader.
“Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British empire — of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.”
Obama is on a mission to tell the British that they need to stay in the European Union, but now he is sidetracked by the Trump look-alike, Boris “Uncle Bill” Johnson. When asked about the controversy, Obama responds with (ABC article):
The president explained that the bust is placed outside his private office in the White House residence, known as the Treaty Room, where he sees it “every day, including on weekends, when I’m going into that office to watch a basketball game.”
So there! Bustgate is settled. The British people can now feel reassured that Obama draws upon the spirit of Churchill whenever he is watching a basketball game.
Oh… one more little issue to address. That little admonishment from Obama on the repercussions that Great Britain would feel if they withdrew from the EU (see the Daily Mail article):
He said there could be a US-UK trade agreement “down the line” but warned: “It’s not going to happen any time soon, because our focus is on negotiating with a big bloc, the EU. The UK is going to be in the back of the queue.”
See that is how you talk to a long-time friend and a stalwart ally. Make sure and butt into their business as if they are the child and you the knowing father. Warn them that they get the hind-tit if they bail out of the EU. This is President Obama’s MO. This is how he operates. Lecture the wayward children and hand out candy to the bullies in the neighborhood.
How did that turn out? Another bust for President Obama. A total rebuff by the pro EU exit of Britain (called Brexit) forces which only served to harden their resolve. Here are a couple of lessons for Obama to learn at some point in his life:
- Never try to out-bust the British. They take their busts seriously and anybody who has ever read a British newspaper understands that not a page is complete unless there is at least one set of … (busts) showing up on the page.
- Most people know better than to become involved in their brother or sister’s marriage or their divorce. Barak Obama does not. Stay out of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. They don’t appreciate your meddling and it is being disrespectful to a loyal ally of the United States.