He Came, He Saw, He Complimented.

Yesterday, and yesterday only, President Obama was in the house. Unlike the formality of the previous week, his brief visit culminated in a speech to a large crowd in College Green. Following an introduction by Enda Kenny, Obama pleased the crowd but it was largely sentiment and reassurance rather than substance with an obligatory is féidir linn thrown in at the end.

Did it play well with the crowd? You bet.

Did they care about the content? Hell, no.

Job well done here and in the US? Probably.

For audio (and you kind of need to hear both to get the flavour) check out the Irish Times . Otherwise there is a transcript of Obama here.

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  • JR

    Went down to Dublin yesterday for a look. The crowds were huge. The loction was probibly chosen for some security porpuse but was a poor choice from every other point of view. I have to say though the atmosphere was great.

  • How kind, how condescending. Its campaign time again, last time he didn’t need the Irish, may even have thought we would be a hindrance. My how two years poor leadership can change a mind. Now it seems a hint of green may be useful, and oh look the ash fell just in time for him to bugger off to ‘important’ meetings at more or less the time he originally intended.

    Still the wind blew and the rain fell and in the land of a hundred thousands welcomes, the car got pranged, so it wasn’t an entirely wasted day. Sometimes nature says it all.

  • pauluk

    So how does it feel, Irish folks, to be a pawn in the Obama re-election campaign? Do you not feel used and abused?

  • carl marks

    pauluk (profile) says:
    24 May 2011 at 11:36 am

    So how does it feel, Irish folks, to be a pawn in the Obama re-election campaign? Do you not feel used and abused?

    a bit of publicity is good for tourism and it the president drinking our guinness feels better than our young men and women dying fighting
    his wars

  • Mickles

    @pippakin

    Yea, how dare a world leader visit other countries. I’m sure the Murdoch press has you believing everything he does is an election stunt, but guess what – world leaders do occasionally go to other countries, it’s part of the job, good for foreign investment, given that Ireland is the closest Euro-using English-speaking country. Why would you be against re-affirming strong US-Ireland relations?

    I doubt that he ‘needs’ the Irish to get re-elected, given that the Republican party presidential candidacy is a race to the bottom, and their policies ignore common sense and civil discourse in favor of taking the opposing side to everything the President says and does, even it means massive hypocrisy, stalling political progress to the detriment of their people, and outright racism.

    Apart from the wing nuts who don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word ‘socialism’ or ‘nazi’ (or worse yet think they’re the same word), no right thinking person would put such maniacs as the GOP are offering back in the whitehouse.

    Sometimes a visit is just a visit. The peace process is ongoing, help is no longer needed in that area, so I don’t know what it is you expected him to do – it’s all about investment now, which the visit couldn’t have hurt.

  • Kevin Barry

    Mickles, couldn’t agree more. As someone not in the country at the moment I had a ton of my colleagues come up to me yesterday asking me about his visit (not that they thought I was in charge of his itinerary or anything like that) and saying how beautiful Dublin looked, how Moneygall was seemingly idyllic and how relaxed the President looked.

    Getting 2008 Barack Obama to turn up in Ireland yesterday was only a good thing and we’ve had a good few days of publicity; pats on the backs of all, enjoy it for what it’s worth and time to get back to some serious work… Armagh winning the Anglo-Celt 😉

  • Nordie Northsider

    President Obama came to Ireland, took the obligatory Guinness product-placement photo-op and said a lot of flattering things. Then got on a plane to London to discuss the Middle-East Peace Process, the global financial crisis and the situation in Libya with grown-ups.

  • Obelisk

    You mean the grown-ups in the Coalition who spend their time tearing strips out of each other on the domestic front, yet have to be continually comforted about their ‘special relationship’ by the American President like neurotic children?Those grown-ups?

  • Nordie Northsider

    I didn’t say that they were nice grown ups, Oberlisk, but wouldn’t you say that there’s a certain difference in tone between posing with a camán and talking world affairs with Cameron?

  • carl marks

    Nordie Northsider
    President Obama came to Ireland, took the obligatory Guinness product-placement photo-op and said a lot of flattering things. Then got on a plane to London to discuss the Middle-East Peace Process, the global financial crisis and the situation in Libya with grown-ups.

    some one once said that the special relationhip between britain and america was like the relationship between a man and his dog,.
    Looking at the times today i see that britain is sending attack helicopters to libya itwould seem that the dog is wagging it’s tail in the hope that its master might give him a treat,
    you can be sure that the brits will do the dying and the yanks will get the contracts for rebuilding the country, if that whats it means to be one of the “bIg boys” im happy to be one of the little people. top of the morning to you nordie

  • Obelisk

    There is indeed a certain difference of tone between visiting a small nation and visiting a medium rank power like Britain. However most people would be able to communicate this difference without condescension.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I thought that condescension and patronising were the overwhelming themes of everything Obama said and did. Just my opinion.

  • Brian

    This isn’t 1920, or even 1970. Obama didn’t go here to get the ‘irish’ vote, as if that actually existed in any semblence of unified bloc. Presidents visit other countries all the time.

    Here in DC, I had the same experience as Kevin Barry; those of my friends and co-workers who saw Obama’s visits on the news all had positive things to say about the image Ireland gave off. It might even help tourism just a tad.