Not much need to add to the torrents of media comment on Barack & Michelle Obama’s day visit to Ireland. Save to say I can’t think of any politican or public figure who can hold a torch to Obama as a communicator.

Absolute masterclass in warmth, humour and style from both of them all day from start to finish.

Leaving aside hard politics (if that’s possible), this was a stunningly successful, warm, joyful visit.

Not bad advertising for Guinness as well

Even Maureen Dowd when interviewed said she’d been covering Obama before he was known and had never seen him so relaxed and hugely enjoying himself – as witnessed in the apparently the longest crowd walkabouts in Presidential history in Moneygall and Dublin ….

My daughter’s out there in the crowd – half the schoolchildren in Dublin were there. I don’t know about the USA, but in Ireland Obama has that generation’s attention and admiration.

5 thoughts on “O’Bamania

  1. For me it’s hard to swallow – at least much harder to swallow than for Obama that pint of Guiness obviously – that the masses and the media are completely drunk of euphoria by this visit (not only in Ireland by the way). After all this president represents a power that still keeps running a concentration camp (despite Obama’s own promises to shut it down as soon as possible), tends to see torture as a legitimate way of treating (potential) enemies, ignores the rule of law in many ways, for example executes suspects without proper judicial proceedings, violates the sovereignty of other countries on a regular basis and spends roughly as much money on its military as all other countries in the world together.

  2. Greymalkin,

    America’s military expenditure may or may not be justifiable given the country’s GDP, and the percentage of American soldiers in terms of the country’s overall population may be quite low, but I think the real problem of American militarism would show itself if you looked at a chart that showed what percentage of that money is spent on funding military operations in foreign nations, or what percentage of American troops are stationed abroad. I imagine most countries have not encountered a soldier from Eritrea, or even heard of the country Myanmar!

  3. Welcome Greymalkin (just checked out your new blog) and Dec (been reading and enjoying your blog a lot, thanks – tried to comment a couple of times but obviously failed the IQ / tech test)

    Hey Holger, you’re not sitting on the fence on that one! It would / will surely be a huge embarrassment to the Obama administration if Gitmo is still open come the next election – not to say moral failure.

    I found this interesting post on US ‘Aid’ – a huge proportion is military spending in places like Egypt, Pakistan, Afganistan and Israel. http://blogs.forbes.com/brianwingfield/2011/01/29/making-sense-of-u-s-foreign-aid-to-egypt-and-elsewhere/

    And all this raises questions of ‘purity’ vs ‘pragmatism’ in international relations.

  4. well said Holger, I agree.

    I find it hard to seperate the person Obama is (or would be if you knew him )with what he represents as elected leader of the US, which I think is probably the empire of our time.
    I’m not sure if empire is the right analogy, but it’ll have to do.

    I listened to a speech Obama gave on the steps of Downing St and it was full of things that go against what I believe as a Christian, and seemed anti-gospel even though he said things that were nice and graceful as well. Obviously when he’s says some stuff its not his own personal viewpoint but that of the American people. So if we’re criticizing Obama is it him personally or the citizens of the US and their world view?

    At the end of the day he is the elected leader of a kingdom of this world, the greatest kingdom of the world at the moment. Is he even the Caesar of our day?

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