Hillary Clinton has inadvertently stumbled on a rallying cry for the Obama Administration:
GENEVA–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opened her first extended talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by giving him a present meant to symbolize the Obama administration’s vow to “press the reset button” on U.S.-Russia relations.
She handed a palm-sized box wrapped with a bow. Lavrov opened it and pulled out the gift: a red button on a black base with a Russian word peregruzka printed on top.
“We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton asked.
You got it wrong,” Lavrov said.
Instead of “reset,” Lavrov said the word on the box meant “overcharge.”
Coincidentally, it does feel as if we’re all being overcharged by the Obama administration.
A trillion in spending here . . .
A trillion in spending there . . .
A billion for the Palestinians . . .
A plunging Dow, wiping out retirement and college funds . . .
Cap ‘n trade that will cause energy prices to soar and potentially bankrupt the coal industry . . .
Higher taxes for small business owners . . .
It’s a new day, and Obama has his finger firmly planted on the red “OVERCHARGE” button.
It’s not quite as catchy as Braveheart’s FREEEEE-DOMMMMMM! But it will do.
As for Hillary’s gaffe itself, Ed Morrissey has some painfully appropriate comments:
Yeah, I’m sure Lavrov laughed. Later, he probably told his deputy, “Tell the crypto guys they can take it easy.”
Some will say, Come on, it’s just a light moment, but let’s think about what Hillary was doing here. She was making fun of the previous administration’s diplomacy with her “reset” button, a rather nasty piece of work. I’ll bet the Bush administration and Condi Rice would have gotten the translation correct before making that joke — and I’d bet even more money they wouldn’t have thought to make fun of Hillary’s husband in that fashion in the first place.
Can we get a reset button?
He’s right. It wasn’t just that Hillary Clinton and her staff committed a diplomatic gaffe. They committed the gaffe while in the process of engaging in a mean-spirited ridicule of their predecessors’ diplomacy. What hubris! Who looks like a fool now?
“Gina” (no relation) comments at GINA COBB, where a variation of this post is cross-posted:
Will someone explain to me why the Secretary of State is giving the Russian Foreign Minister a Jack the Joke Shop hand buzzer? Accurate translation or not, who thought it was a good idea to begin with? What is this? The Three Stooges? Gag Time for Hillary?
Can you imagine Condi Rice doing something so lame, so stupid, so devoid of meaning, purpose, or strategy?
She’s right. What we had here was a cartoon gift. A cartoon gift imbued with hubris, lost in translation.
And this isn’t the only foreign policy blunder we’ve had this week: Obama Stiffs Brits With 25 Set Classic Movie Package White House Gift.
Gordon Brown gave Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet — the sister ship of the one from which the White House desk is made. It was an incredibly thoughtful and symbolic gift, especially given that Obama is America’s first African American president.
In return, Obama gave Gordon Brown (who isn’t a film buff and whose eyesight is limited) a set of 25 classic movie DVDs. These include Raging Bull, Casablanca, Psycho and The Graduate. It was, as some have put it, “a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks.” This after recently telling the Brits they can take back their bust of Churchill, thank you very much — and then treating Gordon Brown perfunctorily during his visit rather than as an honored head of state of one of America’s closest allies.
I plead guilty to tossiing off a thoughtless gift once or twice myself when I was rushed for time. But for crying out loud, Obama is the current Leader of the Free World. He has a virtually unlimited budget and an entire White House full of minions to help him select tasteful, appropriate gifts for every occasion.
And this is the best the Obama administration can do? A set of 25 DVDs? A red “overcharge” button?
This administration is already costing America plenty, not just in dollars (by the trillions), but in needless damage to foreign relations and to America’s national security itself.
If this keeps up, I’m going to need a giant cartoon hammer. For them or for myself. Maybe both.