Jay, re President Obama’s response at the Summit of the Americas: “I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.”
What struck me (aside from its unfortunate echoes of his self-absolvement with regard to what William Ayers did when young Barack was eight years old) was the reductive narcissism of the answer. Barack Obama is not a banana-republic coup-leader resetting the calendar to Year Zero. When he travels abroad, he represents two-and-a-third centuries of constitutional continuity. The impression he gives that that’s all just some dreary backstory of no real relevance to the Barack Obama biopic he’s starring in 24/7 is very unusual in the chief of state of one of the oldest democratic polities on the planet. And not entirely reassuring.