I love this guy. Obama used his final Presidential press conference to preview some of his material as he tries to pull together his five minutes for a stand-up comedy routine.
This howler will be hard to top:
And almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago.
After your laughter dies down, give credit for his use of the word "almost". Possible exceptions to the "more respect" meme would include Putin's Russia, which packed our bags and handed them to us in Syria, then hacked our elections as Obama headed out the door. More on that from the First Ditherer turned First Stand-Up:
What I was concerned about in particular was making sure that that wasn't compounded by potential hacking that could hamper vote counting, affect the actual election process itself.
And so in early September when I saw President Putin in China, I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that did not happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out, there were going to be some serious consequences if he did not.
And in fact, we did not see further tampering of the election process. But the leaks through Wikileaks had already occurred.
He and DNC Chair Donna Brazile need to coordinate their laugh lines since she said the DNC saw attempted hacking activity right up to the election.
Well, maybe Obama was talking about something else and the rest of us are not able to keep up with his subtle thinking and subtler phrasing. Not the first time.
For other possible exceptions to Obama's declaration of New Respect, we can turn our eyes to the Pacific. The Chinese have such great respect that they sailed up to a US Navy vessel in what even they agree is international waters and stole an underwater drone. Worrisome? Only for the countries out there! The Times:
Muted U.S. Response to China’s Seizure of Drone Worries Asian Allies
In the eyes of America’s friends in Asia, the brazen maneuver to launch an operation against an American Navy vessel in international waters in the South China Sea about 50 miles from the Philippines, another close American ally, has raised questions about one of the admiral’s crucial words. It was also seen by some as a taunt to President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has challenged the One China policy on Taiwan and has vowed to deal forcefully with Beijing in trade and other issues.
They are taunting Trump? I really don't have the heart to tell them, either.
Across Asia, diplomats and analysts said they were perplexed at the inability of the Obama administration to devise a strong response to China’s challenge. It did not even dispatch an American destroyer to the spot near Subic Bay, a former American Navy base that is still frequented by American ships, some noted.
After discussions at the National Security Council on how to deal with the issue, the Obama administration demanded the return of the drone. On Saturday, China said it would comply with the request but did not indicate when or how the equipment would be sent back.
The end result, analysts said, is that China will be emboldened by having carried out an act that amounted to hybrid warfare, falling just short of provoking conflict, and suffering few noticeable consequences.
“Allies and observers will find it hard not to conclude this represents another diminishment of American authority in the region,” said Douglas H. Paal, the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
But there is New Respect for the US other than in Russia and China. And probably Syria, where Assad must go but hasn't yet gone. And maybe not in some other Middle Eastern countries, too, but probably only the ones that happened to notice that we backed down on Assad, dropped the ball on ISIS and empowered the Iranians. Everyone else loves us there. In fact, they want more Obama like they want more sand.
It's a puzzle. I can't pin this rumor down, but... it may be that before the New Respect material got into his remarks Obama meant to riff on Rodney Dangerfield and explain that today the US gets No Respect. Maybe!