January 26, 2015

The Times of India catches Obama in "an ungainly sight" — chewing gum during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.

He was also seen taking the gum out of his mouth while Prim Minister Modi was "trying to explain something." Was Modi trying to explain why you shouldn't chew gum during the Republic Day parade?

The Times of India includes some Twitter commentary:
[A]uthor Shobhaa De...  said, "Barack bhai working his jaws overtime and chewing gum! At least it isn't gutka. But seriously - gum during a formal parade?".

"Glad to see @BarackObama is so human. Like most Americans, he chews gum. Anyone know what brand?," was how noted film-maker Shekhar Kapur reacted.
"Barack bhai" — what does that mean? Yahoo Answers says it means "brother," but:
'Bhai' exactly means brother. But in Mumbai this term is used for gangster....
Now, what is "gutka"?
Gutka or Gutkha... is a preparation of crushed areca nut (also called betel nut), tobacco, catechu, paraffin, slaked lime and sweet or savory flavorings.... A mild stimulant, it is sold across India in small, individual-sized packets that cost between 2 and 10 rupees per packet. Gutka is consumed by placing a pinch of it between the gum and cheek and gently sucking and chewing... Many states of India have banned the sale, manufacture, distribution and storage of gutka and all its variants...
I guess Shobhaa De knew it wasn't gutka because the mouth action didn't include gentle sucking. As for Shekhar Kapur's question: "Anyone know what brand?" I, like most Americans, know that the brand is Nicorette.

63 comments:

Bob Boyd said...

"the mouth action didn't include gentle sucking"

So far most of Obama's actions have include sucking.

MadisonMan said...

Chewing Cud. That's what my grandmother always said what gum chewers were doing.

Hagar said...

So, if Obama quit smoking that long ago, how come he still needs Nicorette?

Bob Boyd said...

Forgot the 'd'.
That sucks.

Bobber Fleck said...

In 1960's Wisconsin public grade school we were advised that chewing gum in school and at public events was verboten.

I guess they didn't teach that in Indonesia.

Chef Mojo said...

Hagar beat me to it. Not healthy to habitually chew Nicorette as a nicotine substitute.

MayBee said...

DOn't take it out in public! Just swallow it.

tim maguire said...

Like most Americans, he chews gum.

Like most Americans? This is why I don't give a crap about what people from other countries think about Americans. As for Obama, he was never anything more than the coolest kid in high school. Throw this onto the mountain-sized pile of examples. It's just one more.

tim in vermont said...

Personally, I am against forcing a person in a high pressure job like POTUS to quit smoking. He can quit after he leaves.

tim in vermont said...

My mother came here from Holland, and as a child there, the gum chewing thing was big in the foreign imagination regarding America.

Mark said...

Paan normally causes you to spit quite regularly, depending on what people include it can be reddish or greenish in color.

You know you are staying in an authentic Indian hotel if there are red stains around the ground and lower walls from all the paan devotees.

Much like the brown stains of tobacco chewers and their spittoons of past.

St. George said...

He's done this many other times, including with and in front of dignitaries.

It's the act of a immature, rude, self-centered person who lacks respects for his office, the people he represents, and other dignitaries.

Tip of the iceberg.

And it's a big one.

MayBee said...

Yeah, didn't Chinese papers and bloggers criticize him for this, too? I guess he just doesn't care.

Bob Ellison said...

You're wrong in thinking that "most Americans" don't know Obama smokes.

Most are unaware. It's sort of like FDR's inability to stand up. The MSM has carefully kept America unaware of Obama's smoking problems.

Marc Puckett said...

Mr Obama won't be chewing gum when he makes his obeisance to King Salman.

Brando said...

The fact that Obama was a chain smoker and apparently still suffers severe cravings is a trait that seems to run counter to the rest of his persona of a young, professional class liberal. People of his age, political leanings and social circles don't tend to be smokers.

Now, him knowing the price of arugula--that I get!

BDNYC said...

@Hagar: Agreed. Obama pretty clearly never quit smoking.

It's startling, actually, the degree to which he is hooked. No event is too serious and somber for chewing gum. When Obama needs that nicotine rush, he needs it NOW.

I don't mind his addiction, and in fact I hope he gets what he needs when he needs it. Perhaps there's a patch or something he can use for occasions like this. Ungainly sight, indeed.

Laslo Spatula said...

Don't wanna be a bum you better chew gum

because

Even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand chewing.


I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

If he's chewing gum in a parade, he's trying to show off.

Bob Ellison said...

Why doesn't he vape? It could be a break-through thing, attracting millions of soon-to-be-18 voters.

BDNYC said...

The way our media would report it, our glorious leader is conquering his addiction and demonstrating to millions worldwide that there's no shame in publicly displaying his efforts. It's a powerful message Obama is sending to the tobacco companies that cigarettes are no longer cool or fun. Through his example, our dear POTUS is bringing us change and hope.

I remember once when Bush said something to someone else with food in his mouth, and the media firestorm lasted days, if not weeks. And let's not forget when he had the audacity to say the word "shit" to Tony Blair. Gasp! Or when he gave Angela Merkel a back rub that surprised her. Sexual predator!

Bob Ellison said...

Also, Obama is aware that his voice is powerful, and smoking makes it more so. He knows he should quit-- Michelle probably tells him so daily-- but he knows that if he quits, his voice will get high and less gravelly, less street-aware, less interesting.

T Rellis said...

Bob Ellison said...
Also, Obama is aware that his voice is powerful, and smoking makes it more so. He knows he should quit-- Michelle probably tells him so daily--

To be fair he probably tuned out her harpy harping years ago.
That food's bad for you
Stop smoking
Stop coking
Put down the bong
Get off the dong

After a while just runs together into screeeeeeeee.

Laslo Spatula said...

Nicotine Suppository. I'm sure there are enough people around him that will be more than willing to insert it for him.

"I'll never wash this hand again."

I am Laslo.

Michael K said...

"a person in a high pressure job like POTUS"

You're kidding. Right ? This person ?

Bob Ellison said...

I record my voicemail greetings when I have a cold.

Mrs Whatsit said...

"Like most Americans, he chews gum."

Most Americans do NOT chew gum in formal settings -- in meetings with important people, when officiating at parades, in church, anywhere that dignity and respect is expected. Most of us know better. So does Obama -- or so he should, after making this basic error of etiquette over and over again -- in Beijing during the economic summit, a week later at the G20, at his own second inauguration. Why hasn't he learned -- or perhaps why doesn't he care -- how rude and disrespectful this is, and how embarrassing it is to his constituents to make us look like such callow rubes? I thought GWB was supposed to be our untutored cowboy president, while Obama was the smooth sophisticate who'd show the world how it's supposed to be done.

As for the claim that it's his nicotine addiction that drives him to do this rude and ugly thing in public -- well then, what on earth is he doing advertising his own weakness and lack of self-discipline to the world? Yes, I fully understand that it's hard to kick nicotine, but he's been trying -- and failing, apparently -- for years now. If he can't summon up the intestinal fortitude to beat his nicotine addiction, can't he at least manage enough personal strength to make his cravings wait until he's in private? And if he's really so weak that he can't manage a feat of self-discipline that many, many, many less powerful and important human beings have managed to handle before him -- then what on earth is he doing in the most powerful office in the world?

Big Mike said...

Does Obama have a protocol officer? If so does he listen to that person? He doesn't seem to much care who he insults, does he?

pm317 said...

Why is he even in India?

Ann Althouse said...

"So, if Obama quit smoking that long ago, how come he still needs Nicorette?"

He found a different delivery system for the nicotine he wants or needs.

I'd like to see him with an e-cigarette (another delivery system), puffing away in the presence of foreign dignitaries.

AReasonableMan said...

pm317 said...
Why is he even in India?


Difficult to understand why anyone would feel the need to ask this question.

Sebastian said...

Who expects an addicted narcissist to worry about respect and protocol?

Anonymous said...

"Don't want to be a bum,
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
Cause the vandals took the handle"

kfb said...

I'd be willing to cut POTUS some slack if he was chewing Nicorette. I would guess that, as POTUS, trying to give up cigs would be difficult.

Big Mike said...

Why is he even in India?

Difficult to understand why anyone would feel the need to ask this question.


So you don't know either?

Bob Ellison said...

AReasonableMan said..."
Why is he even in India?"

Difficult to understand why anyone would feel the need to ask this question.


Let's make a list of foreign missions available to the POTUS. Let's rate them from bottom to top. India is on top?

I don't know; I only pay the guy. Maybe Belgium is #2. Maybe Indonesia is #3.

Meade said...

Did anyone actually see the gum? Isn't it possible he was chewing, say, jerky? Dog jerky?

Anonymous said...

AReasonableMan said...
pm317 said...
Why is he even in India?

Difficult to understand why anyone would feel the need to ask this question.



1/26/15, 9:41 AM
-------------------------

Absolutely right.

Shanna said...

He was also seen taking the gum out of his mouth while Prim Minister Modi was "trying to explain something."

I am embarassed at how incredibly tacky and low class our president is. Good job, democrats!

Conserve Liberty said...

Glad to see @BarackObama is so human. Like most Americans, he chews gum.

I don't.

From the old days:

"We don't smoke and we don't chew, and we don't go with boys who do."

Bob Boyd said...

Meade said...
Did anyone actually see the gum? Isn't it possible he was chewing, say, jerky? Dog jerky

Not those Indians.
Dots, not feathers.

CWJ said...

Obama is self-centered and has surrounded himself with "children," manipulators, and sycophants for advisors. I expect that even those whose job it is to instruct him in protocol don't have the gumption to tell him not to do the diplomatically gauche things he does.

He's clueless, has no desire to receive much less take such advice, and a result receives none.

Hagar said...

He was filmed taking the gum out of his mouth and putting it back in while sitting next to Mr. Mori.

If I did chew gum - Nicorette or just gum - I would not do that while sitting next to Meade. It just is not done.

Conserve Liberty said...

I call bullshit on the Nicorette. It's Juicy Fruit.

From personal experience, you chomp two or three times on the Nicorette - then you tuck it in between your cheek and gum or under your tongue for 15 or so minutes. Two or three chomps every so often is all it takes.

Anonymous said...

He is in India because as a secret Muslim he needs to visit the third largest Islamic country in the world, of course.

FullMoon said...

For such an egotistical person, it should really irk Obama that he cannot kick the habit.
Millions of average people have quit, probably most without patches or gum.

mccullough said...

One of the few things I like about Obama is this type of irreverence. I'd prefer that he just light up a real cigarette, maybe a Camel unfiltered or at least a Red.

If I ever meet Obama the only thing I'm going to do is bum a smoke off him.

pm317 said...

@ARM, if you deigned to reply, then there is invariably a nerve that got touched.

hombre said...

Well, he thinks he's social class, but he's just a horse's ass. How do you do, Mr. Obama, how do you do?

Paul said...

Did Obama fart to? I would not put it past him.

He is the lowest class president ever. The citizens of the US ought to be mortified we have him as our leader.


And who knows, he might be back to snorting coke.

ken in tx said...

Nope Paul, LBJ was the lowest--dictating to his sec while on the thunder mug.

Anonymous said...

What I think is interesting is his approval ratings are soaring right now.

What does this teach us?

Well, typically at the end of a Presidency you see the approval ratings tank. And then the next candidates try and tack away from the past President.

So why is his approval ratings soaring?

I think it's because he is trolling all of us. And the Democrats love this. I mean, is there anything King Putt can actually do at this point to win the approval of Republicans or Independents? Short of doing a complete turn around and mea culpa for his entire presidency?

So, he's driving hard left and getting the approval of his fans on the left. His sticking his finger in our eye and laughing. And the left digs this. They love this sort of insult. Because we deserve it. We the enemies of Democrats, whoever we are.

Which makes me wonder, why do Republican presidents never learn from this? The answer in your last years isn't to try and win approval from your enemies, it's not going to happen. It's to tack hard Right and be the conservative you've always wanted to be while in office.

Unless of course, you were never really a conservative to begin with.

RonF said...

"Glad to see @BarackObama is so human. Like most Americans, he chews gum. Anyone know what brand?," was how noted film-maker Shekhar Kapur reacted.

On what basis does noted film-maker Shekhar Kapur think that most Americans chew gum?

RonF said...

This is what happens when you elect a drug addict President.

FullMoon said...

....From the old days:

"We don't smoke and we don't chew, and we don't go with boys who do."


From Redd Foxx album (chaste high school cheerleaders)
..we don't drink
we don;t smoke
Norfolk, Norfolk

Anonymous said...

So why is his approval ratings soaring?

"Soaring"?

Bob Ellison said...

RonF, Americans must be chewing something.

rhhardin said...

Does the chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

Not if God chews it.

Unknown said...

ARMinutia said…..
Difficult to understand why anyone would feel the need to ask this question….

I think this is a good question since the US relationship with India is among several that Obama has ignored. So why NOW is Obama in a country that Bush established very strong relations with?

US (Obama!!!) administration's approach to India, including its "slow" response to the request for questioning David Headley, and its proximity to Pakistan in the war on terror are steadily driving a wedge in the strong relations cultivated during the Bush-era, noted historian Arthur Herman has observed. ...
.."The partnership with India that George W Bush carefully built is in shambles -- jeopardising our future in Asia," the piece said.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/obama-s-approach-to-india-ruining-close-bush-era-ties-analyst/article1-542943.aspx

Achilles said...

eric said...
"What I think is interesting is his approval ratings are soaring right now."

This is not happening. Everyone is dealing with obamacare now. They are not happy with it at all.

William said...

Obama visited India to express his sincere apologies for having made those poor people live on such a dirty, overcrowded reservation. He promised to approve, by executive order, legalized gambling and casinos in India.

cubanbob said...

If you are going to smoke, smoke. If you are going to quit, quit. He can't do either.

tim in vermont said...

I bet a few recent pictures of him with a cigarette in his mouth would raise his approval.

India is the club we use to keep Pakistan in line.