No more than a great orator? President Obama
Photo: AFP
Obama's charm wearing off
Recent ceremony reinforces sense that Obama no more than great orator

Last week, American President Barack Obama awarded 16 international figures with the Medal of Freedom. The list of recipients included Desmond Tutu from South Africa, Mary Robinson of the Durban Conference, black hole expert Steven Hawking and others.


The Fox Network offered a live broadcast of the ceremony, which is the equivalent of our Israel Prize, only much more compact: The audience in attendance was rather small, and there were no tiring speeches. The record of each award recipient was only reviewed in brief.


As opposed to what is customary around here, the recipients did not get money, but rather, only a medal. Obama did not even bother to shake their hand before he awarded the medal. He quickly kissed the women and slightly nodded at the men.


He was even stingy when it came to flashing his trademark smile, as if this was some kind of budgetary burden that the bankrupt Washington cannot afford at this difficult time.


Overall, the admired president was incredible cold and arrogant. He barely spoke to the medal recipients. His body language conveyed a sense of disinterest. Even Hawking obviously bored him.


Cold and arrogant

Had former President Bill Clinton been there, he would have offered warm embraces, conveyed a sense of excitement and pleasantness, and granted plenty of respect to these freedom fighters. Yet Obama only wanted to get it over with and go back home.


Nothing in his conduct could explain the secret of his charm, with the possible exception of the speech he delivered at the outset; a bombastic well-crafted address. The man knows how to talk. That's it.


Oh, he also knows how to win an election. A team of marketing prodigies managed to envelope him with a messianic aura. However, at this time the aura is increasingly dissipating, just like morning fog on a hot summer morning. His performance has been weak, while his conduct has been embarrassing.


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