Thank god America is now represented in Europe by an articulate, well-informed, Yale-educated politician. On her first trip to Europe as President Obama's Secretary of State, Clinton wowed diplomats with a discursive lecture on European literature and history, inveighing on topics as diverse as the impact of Catholicism on Evelyn Waugh's later novels and a radical and compelling reinterpretation of Leon Blum's rise as leader of the Popular Front. Reuters has details:
Hillary Clinton raised eyebrows on her first visit to Europe as secretary of state when she mispronounced her EU counterparts' names and claimed U.S. democracy was older than Europe's…
A veteran politician, Clinton compared the complex European political environment to that of the two-party U.S. system, before adding:
"I have never understood multiparty democracy.
"It is hard enough with two parties to come to any resolution, and I say this very respectfully, because I feel the same way about our own democracy, which has been around a lot longer than European democracy."
The remark provoked much headshaking in the parliament of a bloc that likes to trace back its democratic tradition thousands of years to the days of classical Greece.
One working lunch later with EU leaders, Clinton raised more eyebrows when she referred to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who stood beside her, as "High Representative Solano."
She also dubbed European Commission External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner as "Benito."
With the bumbling Texan retired to his farm, certain members of the British press were surprised to find that, in the words of The Telegraph's Iain Martin, Obama "might not like the Brits." What better illustration of his contempt for England, Martin writes, than Obama's gift to Prime Minister Brown: a box of 25 DVDs, including Star Wars, E.T., and The Wizard of Oz. And in case you were wondering, the Brits "do have television and DVD stores on this side of the Atlantic."
Update: A reader contacts Mark Hemingway, who blogged the DVD story earlier today, with a sensible observation: "It would be funny if the DVDs Mr Obama gave Mr Brown were Region 1 NTSC and therefore not compatible with the UK where DVDs are region 2 and video format is PAL." And as you ReasonTV fans are surely aware, Hemingway appeared on a recent episode of the talk show.