"He who wishes to exert a useful influence must be careful to insult nothing."  If Goethe was right, I guess we can give up on President Obama exerting a useful influence.  By now he's insulted just about everything and everyone.  I list some of his insults below, in alphabetical order by insultee.  Let the healing begin.


"... senior members of Obama's national security team say Karzai has not done enough to address the grave challenges facing his nation. They deem him to be a mercurial and vacillating chieftain... Obama intends to maintain an arm's-length relationship with Karzai... The administration will also seek to bypass Karzai... The administration rebuffed Karzai's request for a bilateral visit to Washington this spring... Karzai's meeting with Obama today is scheduled for 20 minutes..."

The people of Afghanistan may have just re-elected this "mercurial and vacillating chieftain."

Brazil.  Obama re-scheduled a meeting with the President of Brazil, the first Latin American leader to visit with the new US President, so he could make St. Patrick's Day celebrations.  "Then, the White House announcement misspelled his name as ‘Luis Ignacio' and put ‘Lula' - a nickname that decades ago became a legal part of the Brazilian leader's name - in quotes."

Britain.  Barack Obama's gift to Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was a box set of 25 DVDs, all in a format which will not work in the UK.  (Brown's gift to Obama was a pen holder crafted from the timbers of the 19th century British warship HMS President, an anti-slaver whose sister ship provided the wood for the Oval Office's desk.)

Brown's wife, Sarah, arrived with dresses for Obama's daughters from the UK's trendy Top Shop (with matching necklaces) and a selection of books by British authors.  Obama's wife, Michelle, responded by giving toy models of Marine One (likely quickly retrieved from the White House gift shop) to the Brown sons.

Obama gave the Queen of England an iPod, pre-loaded with 40 show tunes, photos from Obama's inauguration, and audio from Obama's inauguration address and his 2004 speech at the Democrats' convention.  

Perhaps more substantively, Obama transferred some Gitmo detainees to Bermuda, a British protectorate, without consulting Britain.  Per the UK Telegraph, "A senior State Department official said this [British] diplomatic understatement masked a real anger over the Obama administration's oversight among British officials, telling ABC News: ‘They're pissed.'"

Catholics.    Beyond overturning the Mexico City Policy (thereby allowing federal funds to flow to abortionists around the globe) and announcing his intent to remove the conscience protections for pro-life medical practitioners (thereby forcing doctors and nurses to provide abortions or be fired), he nominated Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.  Sebelius is essentially a Catholic apostate who "has been told by her Bishop, Joseph Naumann, to refrain from presenting herself for Holy Communion."

The Differently Abled

"I've been practicing bowling.  I bowled a 129.  It was like the Special Olympics or something."

DoctorsEar, nose and throat specialists:

"Right now, doctors, a lot of times, are forced to make decisions based on the fee payment schedule that's out there. So if ... your child has a bad sore throat, or has repeated sore throats, the doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, ‘You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid's tonsils out.'"

Orthopedic surgeons

"All I'm saying is let's take the example of something like diabetes... if a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they're taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 -- immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we're also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money. (Applause.)" 

Little yappy, girly dogs. 

"It's like a little yappy dog?... It, like, sits in your lap and things?... It sounds kinda like a girly dog... We're going to have a big rambunctious dog, of some sort."

France.  While staying in France to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the Obamas turned down a dinner invitation from the Sarkozys, France's first couple, despite "staying at the residence of the US Ambassador, yards from the Elysée apartments where the Sarkozys spend their weekends."

Obama also snubbed Sarkozy by writing a letter to the former French president Jacques Chirac asserting that, "I am certain that we will be able to work together, in the coming four years, in a spirit of peace and friendship to build a safer world." 

Germany.  When in Europe for the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Obama spent less than 24 hours in Germany and did not visit its capital, despite an apparent "request from Chancellor Angela Merkel's team for a lengthy Dresden walkabout."

His own grandmother (and other typical white people). 

"... she is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, well there's a reaction that's in our experiences that won't go away and can sometimes come out in the wrong way. And that's just the nature of race in our society."

Our intelligence. 

"One thing I'm proud of is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues."


"... you've got kids or you've got grandkids -- they need to make sure that they've got the same security that Medicare provides seniors"
"... at the pace we're on right now, Medicare is going to run out of money in eight years" 

Israel.     Maybe this one is a stretch, but "Israeli TV newscasters Tuesday night interpreted a photo taken Monday in the Oval Office of President Obama talking on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an ‘insult' to Israel" because his feet were up on the desk with soles showing.  "It is considered an insult in the Arab world to show the sole of your shoe to someone. It is not a Jewish custom necessarily, but Israel feels enough a part of the Middle East after 60 years to be insulted too."

This "insult" might just be imaginary, like "the finger" Obama gave Hillary Clinton during the campaign, captured on video.  But Israelis probably have other reasons to think Obama insulted them, such as almost everything he's ever said about the Middle East, except in front of Jewish audiences.

The Media.     Obama did not attend the Gridiron dinner, the first time a President has not attended since Grover Cleveland.  Joe Biden went, though.

People from Pennsylvania, the Midwest, small towns, gun owners and non-atheists.

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest... And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

The Philippines

"So although the Philippines is not the largest of countries, it, in using a phrase from boxing, punches above its weight in the international arena, and we are very grateful that President Arroyo has visited us here today..."

The Philippines has the 13th largest population in the world - 98 million.


"...the Cambridge police acted stupidly... there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact."

The Post Office.

"I mean, if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. It's the post office that's always having problems."

Nancy Reagan

"I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any séances."

Nancy Reagan didn't do or participate in any séances.  He might have mixed her up with Hillary Clinton, who had imaginary conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt and "channels her today." 


"Along the way, you gave us a pretty good deal on Alaska. Thank you."

Obama said that to an audience of business people in Moscow.  Russians consider the sale of Alaska to the US a national disgrace.

Also, Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gave a gift of a mock red button to Russia's foreign minister.  The button had a Russian word written on it.  The word was supposed to mean "reset", but instead meant "overload" or "overcharge."   

(The Russians apparently returned the favor.)

Clarence Thomas, sitting Supreme Court Justice. 

"I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he, I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution."


"for so many veterans the war rages on -- the flashbacks that won't go away, the loved ones who now seem like strangers, the heavy darkness of depression that has led to too many of our troops taking their own lives."

Also, according to CNSNews and others, "President Barack Obama was the first president to miss the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball, which recognizes Medal of Honor recipients." The ball has been held by the American Legion since it was started 56 years and 14 inaugurations ago.  (Some urban-legend debunking web sites admit this is true, but that Obama had good excuses, like being busy, and the American Legion says it doesn't feel snubbed.)

During his campaign for president, Obama cancelled a visit to a military hospital in Germany.  Per MSNBC, Obama cancelled after discovering that the Pentagon said Obama "could only bring two or three of his Senate staff members, no campaign officials or workers" and that "Obama could not bring any media.  Only military photographers would be permitted to record Obama's visit."

One final insult, from George Bernard Shaw:  "He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career."

Randall Hoven can be contacted at or  via his web site,