And it was made clear again Wednesday when Obama made some remarks before a military audience during a ceremony honoring outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel — remarks that largely seemed to fall on deaf ears.
Obama gave his speech at the Joint Base Fort Myer-Henderson Hall, in Fort Myer, Va., where the audience was largely silent, giving little response to Obama’s multiple attempts to draw a laugh until near the end of his presentation.
In Obama’s defense, the jokes weren’t all that funny.
“I was determined to be here with you this afternoon to honor and celebrate a great friend to me and to all of us,” Obama began.
“In October of 1967, President Lyndon Johnson traveled to a military base in New Mexico to review a top secret weapons program,” he continued. “And he went down to the White Sands Missile Range and out to the testing grounds.”
Obama explained that, present that day at the testing of what would become the Stinger Missile system, was 21-year-old Private Charles Timothy Hagel of Nebraska.
“Now the Secret Service does not usually let me get too close to an active weapons system. It makes them nervous. But clearly they did things a little differently back in LBJ’s days,” he said.
At this point, Rodney Dangerfield would have tapped his mic and said, “Is this thing on?” Would that Obama had tried it — it would have been the funniest moment of the speech.
“Chuck, I can only assume you were careful not to point the missile at the president, because what followed was a life of dedicated service to our nation, spanning nearly 50 years,” he said instead.
“Vice President Biden, members of Congress, Gen. Dempsey, leaders from across this department, and members of the Joint Chiefs and service secretaries, to the men and women of the greatest military in the world,” the president said, “we gather to pay tribute to a true American patriot. And let me assure you that I checked with the Secret Service and Chuck will not be demonstrating any missile launchers today.”
These are the jokes, folks.
You can watch the entirety of the president’s remarks here, courtesy of Breitbart:
Obama has always been a pretty good orator — as far as I can tell, giving a speech is about the only core competency the man has.
The fact that even he could barely get a smile from the servicemen and women assembled on what was, ostensibly, a happy occasion tells you everything you need to know about this president’s relationship with the U.S. military.
And I wish that were a joke.
—Courtesy of The Conservative Tribune