Imagine if Mitt Romney had said anything close to as stupid as these gaffes? First up, mispronouncing democracy-activist Aung San Suu Kyi’s name:
As Obama stood next to the world’s most recognized democracy icon, he mispronounced her name repeatedly.
Ever gracious, Suu Kyi did not correct her American guest for calling her Aung YAN Suu Kyi multiple times during his statement to reporters after their meeting.
Proper pronunciation for the Nobel laureate’s name is Ahng Sahn Soo Chee.
I guess the mispronunciation could’ve been worse. Fake caption: Pleased to met your Miss Auld Lang Syne
And next, he messed up the president of Burma’s name, too:
The meeting came after Obama met with Myanmar’s reformist new President Thein Sein – a name he also botched.
As the two addressed the media, Obama called his counterpart “President Sein,” an awkward, slightly affectionate reference that would make most Burmese cringe.
Note to presidential advisers: For future rounds of diplomacy, the president of Myanmar is President Thein Sein – on first and second reference.
And finally the president weaseled out of the entire “is it Burma or is it Myanmar?” debate. (The dictatorial and murderous leaders of Burma changed the name to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in 1989) by using both Burma and Myanmar:
Officially, President Obama visited “Burma” on Monday — but at one point he also cited the name used by the nation’s military junta, “Myanmar.”
“We think that a process of democratic reform and economic reform here in Myanmar that has been begun by the president is one that can lead to incredible development opportunities here,” Obama said after meeting with President Thein Sein.
Obama aides said the president used Myanmar as a “diplomatic courtesy” to Sein; in a meeting with dissident democratic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Obama again referred to Burma.
Maybe would should’ve sent “homeboy” Biden for some real gravitas?