President Obama seems incapable of going abroad without embarrassing himself. Via InstaPundit, we learn that when he was in the U.K., Obama couldn’t keep Chancellor George Osborne’s name straight. Obama repeatedly called him “Jeffrey.” The repeated gaffe became so obvious that Obama apologized:
According to the Sun and the Financial Times, Mr Obama apologised to the chancellor for calling him Jeffrey three times during the meeting – saying: “I’m sorry, man. I must have confused you with my favourite R&B singer”.
That would be this Jeffrey Osborne. The real Jeffrey Osborne was excited to hear about the mishap, and George Osborne was gracious about it. But good grief: the first obligation of a diplomat is to keep track of whom he is speaking to. One can imagine the hilarity if George W. Bush had referred to Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister during his administration, as “James Brown,” confusing the Prime Minister with his favorite R&B singer. Or perhaps, given Bush’s musical tastes, Sawyer Brown, or Zac Brown. Would such a gaffe have been laughed off? I doubt it.