November 11, 2014

Chewing and eschewing... Obama in China.

"Gum-chewing, limo-eschewing Obama riles some Chinese."
Obama emerged from his car chewing gum; he's a well-known user of Nicorette, the smoking-cessation gum. But Chinese Internet users, accustomed to the highly formal standards of their stiff party leadership, quickly characterized the leader of the world's most powerful nation as an impolite "idler," or careless "rapper."

"We made this meeting so luxurious, with singing and dancing, but see Obama, stepping out of his car chewing gum like an idler," wrote Yin Hong, a professor of journalism at Beijing's Tsinghua University, on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo micro-blog service.
However "stiff" the Chinese might be, Americans also criticize the President for chewing gum.

90 comments:

Robert Cook said...

Although I chew gum occasionally, it is an indisputably unsightly habit, and public figures who intend to be taken seriously about anything of substance should NOT chew gum in public.

alan markus said...

I wonder if farther down the threads he was called "gangsta" or "thug"

Mark said...

I seriously doubt he is still using nicotine gum. Stuff is nasty, plus you are not meant to chew it more than to activate it - mainly you use it almost like chewing tobacco, wedged against your gums to transfer nicotine to you.

Or so my experience was. I quit well over a year after hearing about Obama on nicotine gum. If he still uses it, it's because he still smokes some.

I haven't had a one in three years from yesterday. Nicotine gum would probably make me vomit now.

kcom said...

It's quite clear he knows more about diplomacy than his diplomats. He's just the best.

Tibore said...

It is indeed impolite to do that on formal occasions, but let's be honest: This is one of the least of his failings. There are far more important things to criticize.

Gahrie said...

The Chinese government is laying the ground work for military action in the near future. The attacks on Obama are official sanctioned (or else they never would have occurred) and are meant to show the Asian sphere that the US is weak and unreliable as an ally.

Michael K said...

Well, they sure got him right quickly.

pm317 said...

yay! the "cool and effortless" Obama shows he can chew gum and talk to the Chinese at the same time.

He did walk into it like a careless 'rapper' -- he should have used his hands a bit more and bobbed from right to left, up and down a bit more. He is our celebrity president and he is so 'cool and effortless' at it.

Big Mike said...

He's merely trying to prove that he really can walk and chew gum at the same time. Valerie Jarrett told him that after last week's elections the Chinese didn't think he could do that.

bgates said...

Never thought I'd see the day a professor of journalism would talk like that about the guy.

FWBuff said...

Why is he wearing a maroon Chinese robe?

Tom Gallagher said...

In contrast to his "chewing gum like an idler", his bowing was suberb; a solid B+.

etbass said...

It's a toss up between pm317 and Big Mike but on this one I think I would give the thread to Big Mike.

pm317 said...

I would give the thread to Big Mike..

dbp said...

His critics say he is too dumb to walk and chew gum at the same time. Obama, proving the h8ers wrong again!

Tank said...

He would look cooler and more sophisticated if he was just smoking a cigarette.

He could "coolly" flick the butt into the adoring crowd for a lucky worshipper to keep. Or is that part of his term over?

Jim Howard said...

I take a back seat to nobody in my disdain for President Obama.

Still, to be fair, the Chinese (and most other Asian) culture has a deep racist streak when it comes to persons of African descent.

Add in the kind of America bashing that so popular worldwide (especially among Democrats like Obama) and it doesn't take much to confirm people's prejudices.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ugly ugly language, China.

Jason said...
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Jason said...

It's ronery at the top.

Bob Boyd said...

Obama came to kick ass and chew bubble gum and he's all out of kick ass.

Paddy O said...

Gum makes us look more American

kcom said...

I know that's true, Jim. But least he could do his job properly. For all the (many times unwarranted) criticism of "Cowboy" Bush, he did know diplomatic niceties and didn't have these sorts of problems. It came from his respect for the job and its history and his knowledge that it wasn't all about him.

David said...

quickly characterized the leader of the world's most powerful nation as an impolite "idler," or careless "rapper.

In America this statement would be rightly seen as racist. I think the Chinese well understand that. Basically they called our President a nigger.

When being honest, they aren't very fond of white people either. The Chinese (and their constant rivals the Japanese) have some very bigoted traits.

traditionalguy said...

Barry is way out of his league. He talks softly and carries a stick of gum. That should back down the Chinese Communists.

Big Mike said...

@pm317 and @etbass, thank you very much but the day is still young and I'm sure someone will top my comment.

It's not as though Obama's behavior is difficult to mock.

Big Mike said...

Meanwhile Thomas Sowell's weekly column has a sobering viewpoint of Obama after last week's election.

St. George said...

Here is the recently disgraced U.S. Navy Captain James Fanell, the former Director of Intelligence and Information Operations, U.S. Pacific Fleet, describing aggressive, expansionist behaviors of the Chinese Navy, remarks that led the Navy to very publicly reassign him to a back office job.

At about 27:30 he recounts official Chinese state media's description of fatalities caused a Chinese submarine-based nuclear attack on Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Here he is again at a similar symposium in 2013.

pm317 said...

I don't see racism in their comments. These are hidebound societies where openly chewing gum is seen disrespectful to the hosts or the larger context you are in -- riding a subway and chewing gum may be OK. To be on an international stage with m/billions watching and sauntering nonchalantly chewing gum, no less, yeah, I would be displeased. The Chinese would have said the same thing if they didn't like Putin and he did what Obama did. Let us not reduce this to a 'cry racist' issue.

pm317 said...

He talks softly and carries a stick of gum.

LOL..because he is so 'cool and effortless'.

CWJ said...

"Why is he wearing a maroon Chinese robe?"

University of Chicago.

mccullough said...

Fuck the Chinese. Good for him. Wear a bathrobe next time.

David said...

"Why is he wearing a maroon Chinese robe?"

If you look at the group photo, nearly all the male Heads of State (Putin Included) are wearing these robes. The females are wearing different garb, but again all identical."

Apparently the Chinese decided to issue uniforms to the leaders of the world. And the leaders decided to wear them.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Bark needs some Oliver Twist tobacco bits. The heathen Chinee would never have twigged to his nicotine jonesin'.

Scott said...

I'd like to think that Richard Nixon didn't chew gum when he visited China. Heck, the guy was so formal, he said he felt naked if he wasn't wearing a tie.

William said...

I don't think that outfit suited him. It looked like one of those futuristic outfits that people wore in fifties scifi movies. Perhaps they purposely gave him an outfit that was a size too large to make him look small and vulnerable. Maybe they even left a packet of chewing gum in the pocket, hoping he'd use it and, thereby, make himself look childish and undisciplined. Propaganda victories don't just happen. They're scripted......When the Chinese leaders pay a reciprocal visit, he should make them wear a ten gallon cowboy hat like was done with Deng.

Jamie Bee said...

My grandmother (born in 1925) once taught me a little ditty that she was forced to write out several times longhand after being caught chewing gum in class:

The gum-chewing girl and the cud-chewing cow
Look strangely alike, yet different somehow
What is the difference? Oh, I see it now
The intelligent look on the face of the cow.

Wilbur said...

Much like FDR's disability, Obama's cigarette smoking is treated as a secret by the media. By tacit agreement, it is not be mentioned.

I suspect if a Republican president smoked, it would be treated as a public health issue.

Rob said...

John Adams composed the opera "Nixon in China." Is it too much to hope that R. Kelly, who gave the world "Trapped in the Closet," will now create the rap opera "Obama in China"?

Joe Schmoe said...

Ha! That outfit is hilarious. He looks like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers.

Revenant said...

Obama came to kick ass and chew bubble gum and he's all out of kick ass.

Haha! Nice.

mikeski said...

Gum...rapper...

What's missing?

W.

David53 said...

"However "stiff" the Chinese might be, Americans also criticize the President for chewing gum."

Unlike the Canadians who call Obama an avatar of multiculturalism

Skeptical Voter said...

Well actually I thought Obozo looked "cute" in his little Mao jacket. Of course he did it to match his host's jacket. The last time I knew anybody worried about "matching outfits" was in high school with your best girl.

The picture was striking. The "serious folks" were in Western dress. But then Obama is not really serious about much of anything other than love of self.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

As my mom used to say, "You can tell the difference between someone chewing gum and a cow chewing its cud by the intelligent look on the face of the cow."

Mrs Whatsit said...

"Wear a bathrobe next time." He looked as if he had on his p.j.s!

Krumhorn said...

Apart from the gum-chewing, there is something about the informality of that South LA swagger as The Anointed One strolled into the building. The only thing missing was an insouciant reach to the crotch to cup his junk.

Really, this guy is damaged goods.

- Krumhorn

Michael K said...

"Bush, he did know diplomatic niceties and didn't have these sorts of problems."

I still do not understand the many failures by Obama's Protocol Office. This is a long established White House function. The numerous screw-ups are hard to explain unless they are some sort of dumb effort to be cool or disdainful.

I see that it is in the State Dept and not the White House. I did get one giggle when I ran across "Doctor Jill Biden" in the White House web site. Has there ever been a more pretentious twit in that position ?

Dan Hossley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jimbino said...

If Obama wants to fit into Chinese culture, he's going to have to learn to spit everywhere he goes.

Dan Hossley said...

Chewing gum is the least of his problems. Telling the truth seems a much bigger struggle for him.

Oh yeah, and showing up for Presidential Daily Briefings. That's also a concern.

Scott said...

Abdul, I have to remember that one. :)

lgv said...

I would have rather seen him chewing a hunk of tobacco and then spitting as soon as he got out of the car, even better if it were on a Chinese diplomat's shoe.

So he doesn't want to ride in a provided limo which is undoubtedly bugged. He was just following the proper US protocol.

Chinese just trying to dis our president. That's our job.

Robert Cook said...

"The Chinese government is laying the ground work for military action in the near future."

Against who? Us? Ridiculous!

If they were inclined to strike at us, a more effective and less dangerous means to do so would be to drop the dollar as their reserve currency.

Beldar said...

Yes, Americans and Chinese criticize Obama for chewing gum, or for behaving like a Hollywood film star on a red carpet at his perpetual-opening-night.

But when he's screwed up the
substantively important stuff so royally — and I choose that word deliberately — Obama must expect that his political foes, and those few remaining observers who are merely skeptical, will cut him no slack on matters of style.

The only thing that doesn't rub me raw about Obama by now is that he's a nice dad with nice daughters. I wish they'd all retire to Chicago or, better, Venezuela.

KK Kraska said...

Has he never heard of nicotine patches? Of course he has, Obama just doesn't care.

Beldar said...

Actually Obama looked like he was auditioning to take over Donald Sutherland's role as President Snow in "The Hunger Games."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

pm317 said...
I don't see racism in their comments.

Had they been said by any commenter here, or a Fox News contributor, or anyone else, would you? Why should a knee-jerk response of "Racism! Ugly" apply only to certain folks? If the standard is to call any racially-tinged criticism or commentary racist (and basically all criticism or commentary can be construed as such), then by God that standard had better be applied to everyone.
One difference, of course, is the Chinese likely don't give a damn about being called racists.

Beldar said...

Kraska, the nicotine patches itch like crazy, especially the high-dose ones. The gum merely tastes awful: Nicotine is an effective pesticide, and tastes like one. But one literally chooses one's poison.

BobJustBob said...

The bowing in front of the Chinese president was a nice touch...isn't that a sign of an inferior position?

Michael K said...

"If they were inclined to strike at us, a more effective and less dangerous means to do so would be to drop the dollar as their reserve currency."

I agree they are unlikely to actually start a war with us. Japan maybe as they assume Obama would not interfere. Ditto for Taiwan.

Messing around with the currency and credit would crash their own economy which may collapse anyway. Remember the old adage, "If you owe the bank thousands, you have a problem; if you owe them millions, they have a problem."

lemondog said...

"If they were inclined to strike at us, a more effective and less dangerous means to do so would be to drop the dollar as their reserve currency."

Bypassing the dollar appears to be escalating:

China puts a new nail in dollar coffin as it begins direct trade with Singapore

Over the past two months, nations like China, Russia, and now Singapore have accelerated their programs and processes to divest their economies from dollar hegemony, with several agreements to commence trading in oil, natural gas, gold, and other commodities being created and implemented. And as these large and powerful economies set a new standard in the direction of global trade for the future, it will not be long before other nations, especially those within the Eurozone who are feeling immense pressures from deflation and economic recession, to also choose to reject the dollar and join the BRICS in participating in global trade using direct currency formats.

Julie said...

I really, really can't stand gum smackers. People that can't chew gum without letting everyone around them know they are chewing it. They look stupid, and sound stupid. I was at the store the other day, saw a woman, a smacker if you will. My 5 year old chewed gum better than her. It was ridiculous. You would've thought I was watching Willy Wonka or on Hidden Camera. I would much rather drink coffee all day to keep myself from eating than chew gum.

Civilis said...

If I remember right, the APEC meetings always feature a photo-op of all the gathered leaders in local attire, which explains the embarrassing outfits. I recall similar silly photos of Bush.

What has gotten some play on the conservative side of the internet is the photo of the leaders with most of the more prominent ones clustered around Putin while Obama is off to one side.

lemondog said...

More China:

China wins, U.S. loses at APEC

China and Russia expand their partnership

Asia embraces China

China announced the long-awaited Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, which will allow foreign investors far greater access to Chinese companies listed in Shanghai.

Jane the Actuary said...

Incidentally, I was reading a book on China a couple weeks ago (it wasn't really that engrossing, so I didn't manage to finish and blog about it) which said that these sorts of reactions, and the "patriotic" defense of country by writers and the man-on-the-street isn't just manufactured by the government, but is genuinely felt by the people.

FWIW.

Freeman Hunt said...

A rapper?

Better a gum-chewing President than a racist one.

Gahrie said...

Against who? Us? Ridiculous!


Nope.

They'll probably begin with the Spratleys, then there are some islands they want to take from the Japanese.

rhhardin said...

Railway to Heaven is my favorite Chinese song.

It speeds troop movements into Tibet in addition to other benefits.

It could be an Obama song.

A population served by railroads is a happy population.

n.n said...

Obama the loiterer and litterer respects neither Chinese nor Americans nor anyone else, really.

Was the teleprompter well-behaved?

Obamacare needs foreign aid.

Michael K said...

As soon as we get a new president competent in economic matters, the dollar will come back and everybody else in the world is at least as screwed up as we are. China has serious problems with ghost cities and maldistribution of population, or at least prosperity.

I walked through a development of more than a dozen 20-story high-rises built adjacent to this office park, and there were no signs of life. The same developer I mentioned above also expressed concern over the fate of three gigantic sports stadiums built specifically for China's 'Ethnic Minority Traditional Sports Games' of 2015 outside of Kangbashi. It was surprising that after being admonished by China's own state-run press, Ordos' government has continued to build at the same rate as it had done before.

China is also not very friendly to immigrants and expatriates

I realize no one really gives a crap about why I’m leaving, but I mention this because I think it’s as significant a problem as economic and social factors when you look at the trend of Chinese elites leaving, or sending their families out of, China. Corruption is a huge problem, sure, and if the economic slowdown continues that’s only going to increase the flow of people leaving. But I think there are probably also plenty of people like me who are less motivated by politics and economics than they are by the safety of their families and/or their fondness for their own lungs and digestive systems.

My daughter was in Beijing with friends a couple of years ago and they went out for breakfast. They warned her not to eat the fluffy looking muffins. The bakers put detergent in them to make them fluffier.

Also, prosperity in CHina is confined to the coastal crust.

But despite its remarkable progress in economic and social development and poverty reduction, China still faces many challenges to reduce residual poverty. Disparities in income among provinces and between urban and rural areas have been widening. Urban incomes are now more than three times higher than rural incomes, and poverty remains primarily a rural phenomenon.

Between 50 and 55 per cent of the population resides in rural areas, where about two-thirds of the population is engaged in farming, forestry, animal husbandry and fishing. About 40 per cent of total employment in China is in rural areas. The poorest rural households tend to derive a large share of their income from agricultural activities, which often show low levels of productivity and net profits.


China's economy is fragile and, while the PLA likes to show off toys, they are not likely to want to take us on unless the Democrats really destroy our defense system.

jacksonjay said...

Did Swaggy Idler wave at the camera, as usual?

Unknown said...

Roddy Piper call your office..

See that's the thing about electing someone with a disability (FDR) or a weakness (Obama Obama Obama).

You may be top kick here, but overseas you're just another guy. And when Li or Putin or whoevs calls you a nigger or a faggot or tells you they're going to kill you, no compliant press is going to be able to save you. You're on your own and all the magic underwear won't hide your nakedness and weakness.

I wonder if Obama feels really, really good about his personal safety and security at this moment.

And as for the clown costume, he should have followed Bruce Lee's example in Enter the Dragon, and had his own tailor remake it in his own color, and fitting properly.

lemondog said...

My daughter was in Beijing with friends a couple of years ago and they went out for breakfast. They warned her not to eat the fluffy looking muffins. The bakers put detergent in them to make them fluffier.

I eschew all their food products and ingredients.

Couple in the neighborhood recently went to China for several weeks, taking along gas masks. I don't know whether or not they packed MRE's.......

John Lynch said...

Only Obama can flub going to China.

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "Against who? Us? Ridiculous!"

LOL

Thanks for your input comrade.

Almost as compelling an analysis as garage laughing at the idea of Russia invading the Ukraine.

Almost.

David said...

A bunch of Chinese bloggers call our President a nigger and most comments are about gum and how terrible it was for him to chew it.

Or other stuff.

WTF?

David said...

They are also unhappy because he did not ride in a Chinese limo.

The American policy of taking the President's own armored limo wherever they can is damned expensive but it's not stupid.

Paul said...

For all we know, Obama farts and flicks boogers at other dignitaries at meetings.

I mean, he has no respect for the office of the President nor any class.

Nor I think, anyone else.

LTMG said...

Typical jumping to conclusions by the press, no matter where in the world. Still, Mr. Obama needs to be excruciatingly conscious of how he appears to the ignorant. Reporters and others in China will hang on to every small thing trying to find something to criticize.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

David, no one defends this president because he doesn't defend us. From secretly releasing illegal immigrant murderers and rapists into America, to dispersing sick and unhealthy illegal aliens into communities across the country, to weaponizing federal bureacracies like the IRS and NSA to use against political opponents, to lying about Obamacare, Fast and Furious, Benghazi and more, to his crappy attitude and snotty comments about America and Americans, most people think this chump has it coming to him. Fuck Obama.

Drago said...

David: "A bunch of Chinese bloggers call our President a nigger and most comments are about gum and how terrible it was for him to chew it.

Or other stuff.

WTF?"

The Chinese are not white and not Republicans.

Thus, there is nothing for the left to criticize.

richard mcenroe said...

I don't criticize Obama for chewing gum; I criticize him for chewing gum and trying to walk at the same time. He endangers other pedestrians.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft III said...

I see no problem here. The President is just demonstrating he is capable of multitaking. Walking and chewing gum.

kcom said...

"A bunch of Chinese bloggers call our President a nigger and most comments are about gum and how terrible it was for him to chew it."

We have no responsibility for their behavior. We did elect this guy to represent us. The least he could do is to do an adequate job of it. After all, his talking point was he was the best at everything.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft III said...

I see no problem here. The President is just demonstrating he is capable of multitaking. Walking and chewing gum.

richard mcenroe said...

"South LA swagger?" Obama doesn't even go near South LA when goes to LA to fundraise.

He's just been watching BET...

Anonymous said...

Why is he still chewing nicorette six years after stopping?

Because he still smokes.

Anonymous said...

Jim Howard wrote:

"I take a back seat to nobody in my disdain for President Obama.

Still, to be fair, the Chinese (and most other Asian) culture has a deep racist streak when it comes to persons of African descent."

I have no experience with any culture, except white middle class ninnies, who don't have a deep racist streak when it comes to persons of African descent. When these people lift themselves up by their bootstraps than the rest of the world will accept them as equals. Of course the Chinese will still have a deep racist streak when it comes to persons of African descent, as they have about everybody on the planet, but the Africans, proud of their accomplishments, won't care. That's how it works.

gerry said...

Is there anything this Obama can't screw up?