Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009.
Something vanished from that room, and no one could quite explain why. It was a bust of Winston Churchill – the great British war time leader. It was a fine goggle-eyed object, done by the brilliant sculptor Jacob Epstein, and it had sat there for almost ten years.
But on day one of the Obama administration it was returned, without ceremony, to the British embassy in Washington. No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision. Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender. Some said that perhaps Churchill was seen as less important than he once was. Perhaps his ideas were old-fashioned and out of date.
Well, if that’s why Churchill was banished from the Oval Office, they could not have been more wrong.
Funny how all the pro-EU lobby pick out one remark out of many, and a remark that wasn’t one that Boris claimed to think himself, he was merely reporting various motivations for Obama, if it was him, and it was, to remove the Churchill bust.
The BBC isn’t too bothered with nuances or indeed truth….they just lay into Boris for his ‘racism’ as much as any other pro-EU, partisan, self-interested party. The idea of course is to distract you from what Boris had to say about the hopeless EU regime…how many people just know about these claims of racism against Boris and never read the whole article in The Sun? Any thoughts that this is just a highly politicised attack on Boris from the EU’s useful idiots? Shame the independent, honest and trusted BBC joins in with the anti-Boris slurs……
Downing Street is cockahoop tonight, not just because of President Obama’s backing for the Remain campaign, but because of his elegant slapdown of Boris Johnson.
Mr Johnson raised eyebrows by referring to the president’s Kenyan roots, questioning whether that meant he had Britain’s best interests at heart. He also reminded Sun readers that Mr Obama had removed a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office, a story that didn’t escape the British press at the time.
Mr Johnson’s comments were branded offensive and insensitive by many but the president didn’t resort to even mentioning them. Instead, he spoke about how much he loved Winston Churchill, and why he had moved the bust of the former prime minister to his private residence, where he sees it every day.
The president didn’t just back the prime minister’s case, but smoothly and – without breaking a sweat – took the most well-known leader of the Leave campaign down a peg or two.
Kuenssberg is either in love with Obama or the EU, maybe both. Boris is not in the race it seems. Not much ‘journalism’ there…..just salacious tittle-tattle, inuendo and ‘smears’ of her own…note how Kuenssberg gets it wrong about the bust in the corridor…it was never in the Oval Office.
The BBC targets Boris even more obviously with this attempt to link Boris to racism and smears….
US president Barack Obama has hit back after Boris Johnson’s comments about his “part-Kenyan” ancestry.
Mr Johnson said the removal of a bust of Churchill from Obama’s office was seen by some as a sign of an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire”.
The comments in article for The Sun were branded “idiotic” and “deeply offensive” by Churchill’s grandson.
Mr Obama made clear his admiration for Britain’s wartime leader in pointed remarks at a press conference.
He did not mention Mr Johnson by name but said he had a bust of Churchill outside the Treaty Room – his private office on the second floor of his official residence.
Note the BBC only later admits that Soames is on the Pro-EU side and one of Churchill’s busts was removed from the Whitehouse……
A Churchill bust lent to President George Bush by Tony Blair was removed from the Oval Office along with other art lent to the Bush presidency after Mr Obama’s 2009 inauguration “as is common practice at the end of every presidency”, the White House said at the time.
Boris was right…the bust of Churchill was removed from the Oval Office and sent back to the British embassy…but a second one remains…in a corridor at the White House. Boris only referred to the bust with pride of place in the Oval Office in his piece….a reference made by all the media when the bust was removed.
As for complete facts..is it Boris or the White House that got it wrong?…here’s the White House telling it like it isn’t….
Summary:The bust of Winston Churchill has a prominent place in the White House — in the Residence, outside the Treaty Room.
Lately, there’s been a rumor swirling around about the current location of the bust of Winston Churchill. Some have claimed that President Obama removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to the British Embassy.
Now, normally we wouldn’t address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column. He said President Obama “started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.”
This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.
Hopefully this clears things up a bit and prevents folks from making this ridiculous claim again.
Except no it doesn’t….the bust being talking about, from the Oval Office, was sent back to the British embassy….as the same person has to admit in a later update….
Since my post on the fact that the bust of Winston Churchill has remained on display in the White House, despite assertions to the contrary, I have received a bunch of questions — so let me provide some additional info….The version lent by Prime Minister Blair was displayed by President Bush until the end of his Presidency. On January 20, 2009 — Inauguration Day — all of the art lent specifically for President Bush’s Oval Office was removed by the curator’s office, as is common practice at the end of every presidency.
I’m sure the British government would have allowed Obama to keep hold of Churchill had he wanted to…as the Telegraph reports…
Barack Obama has sent Sir Winston Churchill packing and pulse rates soaring among anxious British diplomats.
When British officials offered to let Mr Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: “Thanks, but no thanks.”
So Obama dumped Churchill…he admits he removed it to make way for one of Martin Luther King…
“There are only so many tables where you can put busts otherwise it starts to looks a little cluttered.”
As the first African American president, he said, a bust of Martin Luther King would be “appropriate”, to remind him “of all the hard work of a lot of people who somehow allow me to have the privilege of holding this office”.
What about the ‘controversy’ about those comments about Obama’s ‘part-Kenyan’ ancestry’? Boris was laying out a list of other people’s arguments as to why the bust had been removed…and as Martin Luther King replaced him and Obama made specific reference to race as to the reason he chose that bust race is an issue raised by Obama himself ….and a bit hypocritical of the Guardian to attack Boris…London mayor under fire for remark about ‘part-Kenyan’ Barack Obama when in 2009 they themselves asked this…
…And went on to say exactly what Boris said…
Earlier this week it was noted that the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, in describing Gordon Brown’s visit to the White House, appeared to demote the two countries’ “special relationship” to merely a “special partnership”.
That phrase, “special relationship”, was coined by Winston Churchill, whose bronze bust, sculpted by Sir Jacob Epstein, was prominently displayed in the Oval Office. When Obama moved in, the statuette was politely returned to the British embassy as surplus to decorative requirements.
When the bust was removed from the White House the BBC of course sided with Obama explaining that Obama was “looking forward not backward”. Which is why he put a bust of long dead MLK on his desk instead….perhaps that is why he titled his memoir… ‘Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance’.
When both the Guardian and the BBC report this tripe as if it were an honest comment you know we are being lied to..
Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell called for Mr Johnson to withdraw his comment, writing on Twitter: “Mask slips again. Boris part-Kenyan Obama comment is yet another example of dog whistle racism from senior Tories.”