Thursday, July 25, 2013

He's on spin-enhancing drugs

Karl Rove in Thursday's Wall Street Journal --

When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he promised that America would be more respected and liked in the world. Foreign leaders would bow to his wishes. Ancient conflicts would end. In a speech before hundreds of thousands in Berlin, he vowed to do nothing less than "remake the world."

Actual paragraph from that speech --

People of Berlin - and people of the world - the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again.

It's obvious from the context of that paragraph that he was talking about a generation remaking the world. not himself. The attribution of the "remake the world" to Obama for himself seems to have originated with Mike Allen at Politico.

Later from Rove --

His agenda for the continent [Africa]? The president told African leaders in Tanzania on July 1 that his priority is to "modernize customs, move to more efficient border crossings, reduce bottlenecks, reduce the roadblocks that stymie the flow of goods." This was worthy of a speech by a commercial attaché, not a U.S. president.

Indeed, President Obama did make those remarks to African leaders. African business leaders -- who would want to hear about commercial issues. When he was talking to actual African leaders, he talked about the developmental issues you'd expect him to talk about.

Incidentally, the WSJ's description of Rove notes that he helped organize the political action committee American Crossroads -- a description that never appeared during the 2012 election season when Rove had the same slot on the Thursday op-ed page.