Obama sends Churchill packing

President Barack Obama has sent a bust of Winston Churchill back to Great Britain. The bust had been loaned to President George W. Bush for display in the Oval Office as an act of solidarity after the 9/11 attacks. When Obama took office, the British offered to extend the loan.

Obama replied "no, thanks."

Actions speak louder than "just words," I think. Thinking

(hat tip: Sister Toldjah)

LINKS: Fausta notes the only Winstons left in the White house.

 

2 Responses to Obama sends Churchill packing

  1. MadAlfred says:

    Weak men have a problem being in the presence — even if it’s a bust — of a great man.

  2. E.I. says:

    I wrote to a public institution I don’t want to name the following:
    ” President Obama has returned to England Churchill’s bust which inspired – whether successfully or not is immaterial – for eight years his predecessor. I think [you] should make some resounding public statement commenting this highly symbolic, indecent and sinister act. ”
    To which I obtained this reply:
    ” “Sinister” and “indecent” are not words that occur to us, inasmuch as Obama now has more Churchilliana than Bush had, namely an eight volume first edition of the official biography, Winston S. Churchill, by Sir Martin Gilbert, and he is reputed to be a reader…. ”
    I answered:
    ” I may evidently be more easily wrong than the team of [your Center] whenever I venture to interpret a Churchill-related public gesture. Nevertheless, don’t you think that Obama’s possible or proven reading of Gilbert’s book is in any case far less striking a media-event than the one we are arguing about?
    Let me quote a few lines from an article written a few years ago:
    If he [Churchill] had been killed by that car that struck him on Fifth Avenue in 1931, Britain would almost certainly have cut a deal with Hitler in May 1940 […]
    President Clinton explained his choice of Roosevelt by noting that as a patriot he had to choose an American. Churchill was not only the son of an American mother, but one of only five honorary citizens of the United States. There must be something else that disqualified him in Clinton’s eyes […] The crucial moment in Churchill’s life was the moment when he prevailed upon a terrified British cabinet to fight on under seemingly hopeless circumstances. Can it possibly be that Clinton has the self-knowledge to understand that if by some freak of fate he’d been sitting around that cabinet table, he’d have been one of those who wanted to cut a deal?
    These were harsh words, indeed very aggressive words – a great deal more violent than my “indecent” and “sinister” – about another president […] I can’t help feeling their author might be tempted to repeat them now by replacing Clinton’s name with Obama’s…
    They:
    […] On Obama, Bush and Clinton, it’s a more subjective judgment. Bush never impressed me from his comments on Churchill to know much about WSC, beyond nursing an admiration, as did Clinton. Obama is a reader. He now has more Churchilliana than Bush had. Who knows? Politics aside, symbolism is hard to judge.
    Me:
    […] I didn’t compare Obama with Bush but since you do, I must tell you that in my opinion Obama’s reading of Churchill and sending him back afterwards is worse than Bush’s admiration for him without reading his works. Moreover, it is disquieting. Symbolism is not hard to judge at all, symbols are visualized ideas, simplified and compressed into suggestive form. How can you so easily discard politics? we are talking about politicians. Obama’s gesture was arguably intended to be a symbolic act; this is one of the ways politicians make politics. He could quietly have accepted the bust for another four years and leaving it where it was without worrying about Churchill’s political legacy. He chose not to let it go at that […]
    E.I.

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