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November 18, 2009

Last Look On O China Trip: A Little Cold

Obama Great Wall 1.jpg

How did this read to me on first pass, through this week’s media filter?

…A nation of umpteen billion people and Obama, a man recognized for wowing the crowds and stirring hope in the masses, especially overseas, is featured today on the newswires wrapping up his China trip alone at the Great Wall.Either through lack of informed strategy, or a desire to placate, or real cards to play, Obama’s failure to gain with the Chinese makes him come off, instead, more like a tourist with a steep hill to climb.

However, there was zero chance a triumphant image was going to come out of this trip, the Chinese being almost constitutionally disposed to stymie their charismatic visitor. And, after years of economic and leadership free fall, it’s as much true that America has been left looking up.

Combine the demand for spectical with the obsession with an otherwise meaningless bow in Japan, and the domestic media’s bottom line on this bridge-building excursion and, yes, “look-see,” was of some kind of distant and solitary failure.

REVISED 11/19 9:30 PST

(photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images. caption: US President Barack Obama tours the Great Wall on November 18, 2009 at Badaling, northwest of Beijing. The US president was to wrap up his maiden trip to the world’s most populous nation with a bit of tourism — a visit to the Great Wall, one of China’s most treasured landmarks — before heading to South Korea.)

  • paulo

    My caption is: looking into the future

  • Julia Grey

    Obama’s bow is not “starting to play” as I see it. It’s fading away, and now being seen as the absurd tempest in a teapot it is was. I suppose it could still be “playing” on the right wing crazy blogs, but I’m not seeing it getting any lasting traction in the mainstream, much less ramping up.
    Your summaries of “current conventional wisdom” often completely mystify me.
    But hey, this site is great because it’s a crossroads of opinion, right?

  • YzWiKhahnz


  • mike

    The lantern behind Obama reminds me of a Claymore land mine. Or perhaps an IED. Perhaps he is lucky not to have tripped any mines on his trip?

  • Michael Shaw (The BAG)

    I think you’re right. Rereading the post, it seems I was drinking the media Kool-Aid — buying into the “conventional wisdom” versus seeing through it. I’ve revised the post to put the “party line” a little more in context. Thanks.

  • KingElvis

    I love ya bag, but do your posts on Word and then drag and drop. You’ll see bad spelling and grammar with the red and green lines underneath.
    Then you won’t end up with ’spectical’ instead of spectacle.
    Just a word to the wise – you’re getting too big for phonetic spelling.

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