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It’s About Me! And Joe!

by Keith Koffler on December 6, 2013, 10:43 am

You know, Thursday I wrote that it was appropriate that Obama be a little self-referential in his statement on Mandela’s death, given that both are historic figures in the march toward racial equality.

Some of you called me on it, and while I still think it’s valid, you had a point. I took a closer look at the statement and noticed . . . there’s nothing it in about the United States.

Nothing like, On behalf of all Americans . . . The people the United States mourn the loss of . . . I mean, this isn’t a statement by the president; it’s a statement by some guy who is personally upset and wants to praise a leader who deeply affected him on his important lifetime journey.

I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life.  My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid.  I studied his words and his writings.

The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears.  And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.

To Graça Machel and his family, Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us.  His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him the most.  And I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.

Who cares what you only hope? Honestly. You’re working for us.

And look at Biden’s statement. Again, nothing for us:

I saw his world the way it used to be when I visited South Africa as a 34 year old Senator. When I exited the plane I was directed to one side of the tarmac, while the African American congressmen traveling with me were sent to the other side.  I refused to break off, and the officials finally relented.  When I tried to enter Soweto township with Congressmen Andrew Young of Atlanta and Charles Diggs of Detroit, I remember their tears of anger and sadness.

Gosh, I really wanted to know about Joe Biden’s experiences 35 years ago. And, what’s more, about what a civil rights hero Joe Biden is. That’s what I wanted to know when I heard Mandela died.

Biden uses his “mourning” statement to pitch to the most crucial voting block of the Democratic base. Great.

Ironically enough, these two are praising a man who was able to step way beyond himself. To suffer in dignity in prison, to be willing to sacrifice his life for his cause, and to walk away from the power Obama and Biden have so relentlessly sought.

That’s right, perhaps Mandela’s greatest achievement was to set a template for democracy in South Africa by choosing – choosing – to peacefully end his time as president. This is quite unique in Africa.

And he could do it because Mandela knew it wasn’t about him.

BTW, sorry if you have this song in your head the rest of the day . . . I do.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Star December 6, 2013 at 10:48 am

So clunky–both of them. Don’t they hear themselves? I know they don’t–I just can’t get over it. It is embarrassing, as someone said yesterday.

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Bob Baldwin December 6, 2013 at 10:54 am

Do we really CARE about WHAT OBOZO and UNCLE JOE have to say about Mandella ?

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judybeth December 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Absolutely ‘NO’! I have an aversion to his voice PERIOD! jb

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srdem65 December 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

This me, my, I statement isn’t a new thing.
If you look back over other condolence, or supportive statements by MrO, he says something on the line like this ….”Michelle and I extend…….
Its never “the people of America”, or “Americans”, it’s usually “me and mine”.

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Girly1 December 6, 2013 at 11:00 am

You took the words out of my mouth, srdem. He has received continuous criticism for speaking only on behalf of himself and the wife. He is such an ignorant, pompous jerk!

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AZ Granny December 6, 2013 at 11:02 am

*Like*

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srdem65 December 6, 2013 at 11:03 am

This is a prime example of MrO’s inability to honor anyone without including himself;

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/21/remarks-president-funeral-service-senator-daniel-ken-inouye

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MarjoJimbo December 6, 2013 at 11:54 am

He doesn’t believe he represents the USA. EVERYTHING is about him.

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Julie Brueckheimer December 6, 2013 at 11:02 am

When we get Bill Clinton’s comments, it should be a trifecta of I, me, myself.

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Girly1 December 6, 2013 at 11:14 am

LOL. I don’t know why, but your comment triggers that unbelievable scene at Arlington last month when the Clintons and Obamas grappled so awkwardly with the wreath they all placed on JFK’s grave. Hillary was not one to be upstaged, despite the fact that the Kennedys despised the Clintons.

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Brando December 6, 2013 at 11:08 am

You are asking the mediocre to be extraordinary in times like this. Ain’t gonna happen.

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Artcat December 6, 2013 at 11:14 am

I was also willing to give him a pass, until I, too, realized he never spoke on behalf of America, only himself and his family. Repeat pattern, of course.

In watching clips of Mandela, I have realized why (in spite of how the President views himself and probably feels he is equal to great leaders) something seems missing. It is the human touch that is missing. The personal connection There is no there there. When Mandela, Clinton, and other US presidents meet someone, even only for an instant, they look the person in the eyes and connect with that person. Our leader seems to not really want to be bothered by anyone else, he is just going through the motions, thinking about who knows what.

I had the tv on the other night, listening but not watching, so I don’t remember who it was that refered to him as Chauncy Gardner. Remember the Peter Sellers movie, Being There? Somehow this man has accidentally become our president and there is a huge miscommunication.

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GWShrub December 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

Despite his fight against apartheid the man was still a member of the African Nation Congress, which had links to Communist China & North Korea. He also held a senior rank in the South African Communist Party.

No wonder BO will “…do what I can to learn from him.”

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GWShrub December 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

…sorry, its African National Congress.

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Dan December 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

No surprises from the Pathological Liar in Chief and his goober excuse for a vice president. Two of the biggest losers in American history continue to behave worse than a couple of sideshow hucksters.
I have never seen such a pathetic gathering of mediocrity in one administration. I suppose they are proud of that or…something.

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DeniseVB December 6, 2013 at 11:26 am
Porterhouse December 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

“His death makes me think of my own mortality and that someday, I to, will be honored upon my release from prison.”

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Robin H December 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm

From your lips (er, keyboard) to God’s ears!

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gracepmc December 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

Charles Payne had an interesting comment about Mandela. First, Charles said he shed a tear. Then he said about the communist Mandela that he thought when you are so beaten by the brutal system of apartheid — which was horrible — he could understand (not approve) a grasp at Communism or anything when you are that desperate. (Moreover even Mandela himself said he was grateful that prison stopped him from the path he was on — or something to that effect. ) But for Charles what was defining and what sets him apart from Obama is that when he did become President he operated from a place of forgiveness and unity. Mandela could easily have taken the country in the direction of Zimbabwe.

Largely because of the brutality of apartheid and the person suffering of Mandela I am willing to be moderate in my assessment of his life as a whole.

What I am not willing to do is equate anything in the US with the situation of apartheid in SA, or compare in anyway Obama with Mandela (except perhaps the Marxism). Nor do I think US flag should be flown half mast for Mandela — or any non American.

Obama will go to SA and make it all about him. And that is unfortunate, — he will represent his evil narcissistic racist self and not US or its people.

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DeniseVB December 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Did the flags fly half staff for Margaret Thatcher ?

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gracepmc December 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I don’t remember — I was at another blog and there was some discussion of this. Some of our ships are flying half staff — and some discussion about 12/7 or/and Mandela.

My personal position is that the US flag should be only for Americans.

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gracepmc December 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Denise — further — according to Breitbart no lowering of US flag for Maggie and of course, the Obamas did not attend the funeral. Now the flag will be lowered for Mandela and Obama is trying to figure out how to make it all about him.

Check the link because the picture of the First Grifters is pretty good.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/06/Obama-snubs-Thatcher-attends-Mandela

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Girly1 December 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Obama is evil. “Punish your enemies”; You bring a knife, we’ll bring a gun”; “Get in their faces”‘; ”We will reward our friends”.
There is one word that will never be used to describe Obama: “Beloved”. Not even by his supporters.

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Dietrich December 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm

“…I visited South Africa as a 34 year old Senator.”
Has it really been that long? And still no clue.

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Star December 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Like

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Trochilus December 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm

There is a basic reason the specific verbal structure in so many languages, including English, is syntactically called the first person singular and that is because for most of us, our predominant point of reference in relating to, or communicating what is going on all around us is, well . . . me, myself and I.

Although that may well be the natural tendency, anyone who even momentarily reflects on that inclination, realizes the inherent absurdity of incessantly communicating in the first person, because he or she is attempting to convey a message to another — one not himself.

So, unless the listener is somehow mesmerized, the first person singular is not as effective as the first person plural — which adds listener identification to the mix — We.”

“We are the ones we have been waiting for” was, in large measure, what won Obama election back in 2008. Of course, what he really meant was I am the one we have been waiting for.”

And, he hasn’t stopped reminding us of that since. Nor has Joe ever stopped saying, “Me too!”

Where the “we” part comes in, is through the explosive political gifting via “entitlements” that they dangled. Only now is the gravy train beginning to wear thin, because the biggest gift of all has turned out to be a real clunker.

So, even when an obviously courageous man like Mandela passed away, each of these two narcissists instantly found a way to make it all about themselves.

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Mandy Manners December 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

“When I exited the plane I was directed to one side of the tarmac, while the African American congressmen traveling with me were sent to the other side. I refused to break off, and the officials finally relented.”

Way to go, Joe! Don’t give in to evil.

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Scottso December 6, 2013 at 4:38 pm

2 things:
1) Keith, you shouldn’t apologize for putting a Beatles song in anyone’s head. We should be Thanking you.

2) Notice how Obama says, “and I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.”
AS IF, Obama expects spending time with The Messiah offered comfort to Mandela. IN OTHER WORDS, Obama believes he is superior to Mandela. The EGO has landed, again.

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Island Girl December 8, 2013 at 3:29 am

Oh Scottsco you made me smile..twice:)
Love the never seen by me video Keith. Still on my mind Saturday night.

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lc southern December 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Just more of the I, me, mine.

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Trevor December 7, 2013 at 7:51 pm

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