Kids say the darndest things

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Kathryn Jean Lopez finds Barack Obama befuddled by Hollywood wizardry on his visit to Mount Rushmore last night:

He express[ed] curiosity about the filming of a chase scene in “North by Northwest,” Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint that included a death-defying scramble over Rushmore’s presidential faces.

“How did they get up there in the first place?” he asked ranger Wesley Jensen.

“They didn’t. It was a movie set,” Jensen told him.

“Pretty spiffy, isn’t it,” said the Illinois senator, summing up his overall impressions.

Perhaps we should be impressed by Obama’s knowledge of cinema classics such as “North by Northwest.” I would add, however, that Obama appears to be more familiar with cinema history than he is with American history.

UPDATE: Roger Simon chides me for giving Obama too much credit: “Anyone who doesn’t know that was shot on a set is a relative cinematic idiot. In fact, Hitchcock practically always used sets quite deliberately and famously. No kudos to Obama on that one.”

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