On Saturday, at a Q&A session at the APEC CEO Business Summit in Hawaii, President Barack Obama, when asked about impediments to foreign investment in the United States, responded in part: "... we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted -- well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America."
As would be expected, this impolitic comment has generated quite a bit of discussion all over the place in the two days since. Well, almost all over the place, as you'll after the jump in graphic captures of the results of searches on "Obama lazy" (not in quotes) at the main site of the Associated Press and at the New York Times (Times search is in order of newest first):
I suspect that the dedicated folks at the Media Research Center and NewsBusters who have been assigned the odious task of watching network news coverage will largely observe similar total avoidance of Obama's remark. There isn't a chance in the world that such "oversights" would occur with a similar statement by a Republican or conservative president.
A number of folks have taken umbrage to Obama's put-down of his own country's efforts, including Charles Krauthammer, as noted at the Daily Caller:
According to Krauthammer, Obama is willing to point out everyone’s shortcomings, except his own.
“No one is asking him to go out there and to be a jingoistic cheerleader,” Krauthammer said. “But when you call your own country ‘lazy’ when you are abroad and call it ‘unambitious and soft’ when you are home, I think what you are showing is not tough love, but ill-conceived, ill-concealed contempt.”
Krauthammer then credited Obama, rather than the American people, with the poor state of the economy, and described the president’s statements as “unseemly.”
“Look, why are people reluctant to invest?” he asked. “We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world — in the industrialized world. Obama has spoken about it. It’s the One issue on which the Republicans would have agreed on lowering that rate, eliminating the loopholes and in three years in office, he has done nothing.”
Krauthammer also redirected blame toward the National Labor Relations Board, charging the agency with “trying to shut down a $1 billion plant that was constructed as a favor to Obama union allies.”
“People look abroad and say, ‘This isn’t a place I want to do business,’” Krauthammer huffed. ”It’s his issues, his overregulation, over-taxation and all the red tape he has added. And now he blames Americans’ laziness? I think it’s unseemly.”
Even if you believed it, if you were President of the United States, why would you express it in such a way? If this is "smart diplomacy," I suspect quite a few Americans would be willing to take a chance on "dumb."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.