June 8, 2009

Obama at Normandy: Self-referential as usual

Can Obama get through a speech without gratuitous references to Dear Leader himself? Here he goes again, this time at Normandy in ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. After the obligatory nods to other dignitaries, Obama started his speech with this --
I'm not the first American president to come and mark this anniversary and I likely will not be the last.
How about that, gratuitous self-reference and banal. Then again, they often go together.

Here's how Reagan began his remarks 25 years earlier in the same place --
We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty.
Listening to Obama's speeches and their inevitable turns of compass toward Self, I'm reminded of a book review of Hemingway's posthumous novel "The Garden of Eden" in 1986 by one of Hemingway's granddaughters, who made a wager with herself that Papa couldn't go a full page without mentioning an aperitif (she lost the bet, as I recall).

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