"I mean, in a way, Obama's standing above the country, above, above the world, he's sort of God." That was Newsweek's Evan Thomas' reaction to President Obama's visit to Normandy last June. The new president was on hand for ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Less than one year later, our "sort of God" has come on hard times.
At home, one of his leading congressional supporters, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., said all of Obama's frenetic stumping for his healthcare takeover is not changing many votes on the House floor. But The Washington Post's Jackson Diehl may have had even worse news for the freshman president. This week, Diehl surveyed the world to see how Barack Obama is doing with other global leaders.
We were told that George W. Bush was despised by foreign publics and barely tolerated by their leaders. So how, Diehl asked Obama administration bigs, is President Obama doing with world rulers? "A lot of hemming and hawing ensued," Diehl reported.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is due to arrive shortly at the White House. What? No formal state dinner? Nope. Sarkozy and his glamorous wife, Carla Bruni, are penciled in only for a White House "couples dinner." There's a chill in the air. Why are they coming at all? Maybe they want to see the cherry blossoms.
The Obamas are still smarting from the big dinner party they threw for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last November. That's the one where everyone got to come---even the Salahis, who weren't invited. That slip-up cost the social director Desirée Rogers her White House pass.
We've heard about British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Despite the fact that Brown is an old Labour Party man---which means he really is a socialist---he and President Obama have failed to hit it off. America's relations with Britain could be at a post-World War II low.
President Obama was a no-show at German Chancellor Angela Merkel's big celebration of 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. He was shown---larger than life---on a Jumbotron delivering a video spiel to the assembled dignitaries. The take-away message from his remarks on that august occasion was that the fall of the wall was really neat, since it made it possible to elect a woman in Germany and a black man in America. Huh? I thought the guys who built the wall were Reds?
One of the hard-pressed Obamatons who got back to Jackson Diehl had this surprise name to offer as President Obama's really good friend: Dmitri Medvedev. The Russian "president" was said to have a close rapport with our own. That's certainly comforting.
But it's offset by the frost building up between Obama and Vladimir Putin, the guy who is really running the show in the Kremlin. It's nice that Barack and "Dima" are pals, but it's a bit like cozying up to the monkey while spitting in the eye of the organ grinder.
Not to worry. The president has just announced a great opportunity for him to make many new friends for himself and for us. He will preside over an "entrepreneurship summit" next month. He will be reaching out to America's potential allies in---you guessed it---the Islamic world.
Perhaps the president will be able allay our concerns about U.S. corporations becoming more involved in supporting Shariah law. Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center worries about this trend. He's helping former U.S. Marine Kevin Murray sue Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to stop U.S. funding for "Shariah finance" operations.
"It is outrageous that AIG has been using taxpayer money to promote Islam and Shariah law, which potentially provides support for terrorist activities aimed at killing Americans," said Thompson. "Shariah law is the same law championed by Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. It is the same law that prompted the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our soil that killed thousands of innocent Americans. We won this skirmish. But the war to stop the federal government from funding Islam and Shariah-compliant financing is far from over." It seems that Mr. Obama's "entrepreneurship summit" will be more like community organizing than like real enterprise.
At a time when America's own economy is in trouble, when the president's healthcare and cap-and-trade bills threaten our own ability to recover, it is chilling to think that he is stiff-arming all our old allies and seeking relationships instead with Third World rulers who are unelected and unelectable. Americans used to sing, "Thy banners make tyranny tremble." Now we're supposed to open our arms to despots and sing the welcoming tune from Oliver: "Consider yourself at home / consider yourself part of the family." Only a spoilsport would point out that that song was sung to welcome the pint-sized orphan into the gang of pickpockets.