Comic Obama not suitable for mimicry

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-5-3 0:38:01

US President Barack Obama held his final White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday. In accordance with past practice, the jokes came thick and fast during his monologue. He poked fun at himself, mocked his political opponents and picked on the media, giving a master class in American humor.

The video of Obama's correspondents' dinner speech has also been posted on the Chinese Internet, and has attracted considerable attention from Chinese audiences.

Objectively speaking, such a tradition of humor in the US high-level political field is quite outstanding in the Western world as a whole. In comparison, European politicians are far more cautious and restrained. In Asian nations with a Western political system such as Japan, politicians are even more scrupulous about every detail when it comes to their remarks.

A video released before Obama's address showed a collection of his gaffes during the past eight years, including his reference to over "57 states" in the US, instead of 50 states. It is undeniable that the fact the US presidents can have an easy relationship with journalists is phenomenal in international politics.

From an audience's perspective, the phenomenon is kind of cool. But if all heads of state delivered speeches by making jokes like Obama, or giving exaggerated performances, perhaps the public in Germany, France, the UK, Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, and the Commonwealth of Independent States would find it unbearable. They will consider politicians behaving in this manner as lacking gravitas and may question how they could horse around like that.

The annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, which became a tradition long ago, has brought a certain impact to the outside word, as well as reflection on the characteristics of US politics.

However, given the nature of politics, those reflections are far from serious.

The public's foremost demand of politicians is hard to change no matter in which country, and that is shouldering responsibilities and resolving puzzles for their nation, not the ability to joke around.

In some way, that US presidents can face reporters in a relaxed fashion shows that they cannot make their own decisions for the country's major principles and policies. Many believe that the true power center is in Wall Street, and presidents are more likely to be representatives of financial cliques and interest groups.

In this globalized era, vital information spreads all over the world. Yet the logic of development has proven hard to integrate among different countries. In this sense, it is not surprising that Obama brought laughter to the globe, yet no leaders from other nations will follow his example.

Posted in: Editorial

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