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article imageDanish TV host makes fun of Obama

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 24, 2012 in Politics
The host of the television show, Detektor, Thomas Buch-Andersen, showed several clips of Barack Obama using the exact same words to complement several foreign leaders.
The show's host mocked President Obama for the number of countries he described as punching above their weight and for the number of countries the president described as being the strongest and closes allies of the United States.
It seems the president is fond of using the boxing metaphor of "punching above their weight" when complimenting foreign countries. When meeting with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the president said, "Danes have punched above their weight in international affairs."
While hosting Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway, Obama said, " I've said this before but I want to repeat, Norway punches above its weight."
After showing these two segments, Buch-Andersen wonders what the US president thinks about the Netherlands. Another clip is then shown of Obama meeting the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte. The president is heard saying, "We have no stronger ally than the Netherlands; they consistently punch above their weight."
Obama is seen with the leaders of Ireland and the Phillipines, saying those two countries also punch above their weight.
Not only did Obama describe the Netherlands as punching above their weight but said that the U.S. has no stronger ally than the Netherlands. So how does the president describe other countries that are allies of the United States?
Australia: We have no stronger ally than Australia.
Poland: Poland is one of our closest and strongest allies.
Great Britain: One of our closest, strongest allies.
Germany: As I've said before, Germany is one of our strongest allies.
South Korea: The Republic of Korea is one of our strongest allies.
Israel: Israel is one of our strongest allies.
France: France is one of our oldest allies and continues to be one of our closest allies.
Italy: Italy is one of our strongest allies.
Japan: Japan of course is one of our strongest and closest allies.
Buch-Andersen naturally expected Denmark to be said to be considered a strong ally of the United States. But alas, it was not to be. While meeting with Thorning-Schmidt, Obama said, I also wanted just to say how much we appreciate the great alliance and partnership that we have with the Danish people on a whole range of international issues.
The television host at least feigned surprise that while Denmark was considered a great ally of the United States, it is neither a strong nor old one. He said, Sometimes you have to listen closer to what is not said than to what is said.
Buch-Andersen opined as why Obama uses the same language all the time. Maybe the copy key got stuck on the presidential speechwriter's keyboard.
In reporting the Detektor segment, USA Today came to the president's defense. Of course, Obama meets with a lot of foreign leaders; it's only natural you're going to hear some of the same words.
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