Town Square

Post a New Topic

President Obama returns bust of Sir Winston Churchill back to Britain

Original post made by WOW, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Aug 8, 2009

Why would he do this? The UK is our greatest ally. It is really more curious why the main stream media (MSM) didn't report on this. I am embarrassed by my president.


"This is a very curious if not troubling act by President Obama. The bust of Churchill, one of the greatest statesman and wartime leaders in human history, which was given to President Bush by PM Blair following the September 11 attacks and where it sat in the Oval Office proudly among other bust of great men, was formally handed back. British officials insisted that he hang on to the gift as a reminder of the "special relationship" that exists between the U.S. and Great Britain, but the response was "Thanks, but no thanks."

Winston Churchill is an American icon who is respected and revered arguably more here in the U.S. than in the U.K. So, certainly there is some uneasiness to President Obama's brash decision to send Churchill packing. Now, a bust of President Lincoln sits in the Oval Office where Churchill bust once sat. Everyone in the world is now well aware of that Lincoln is Obama's hero so that part doesn't exactly come as a surprise.

As for Churchill is there any possible motive to the shun?

Churchill has less happy connotations for Mr Obama than those American politicians who celebrate his wartime leadership. It was during Churchill's second premiership that Britain suppressed Kenya's Mau Mau rebellion. Among Kenyans allegedly tortured by the colonial regime included one Hussein Onyango Obama, the President's grandfather.

The rejection of the bust has left some British officials nervously reading the runes to see how much influence the UK can wield with the new regime in Washington. (Telegraph UK)

Apparently, President Obama has taken his Kenyan roots (if that is the case that would be a stretch considering he never lived there, nor kept up with is family there, and has lived a wonderful American life) over his role as President of the United States as the guarantor of the alliance between the U.S. and Great Britain. In the same breathe, this will hardly hinder the relationship between the two nations, but does reveal Obama's anti-anglo-old-ways-establishment-view that he clearly talks about in his books and listened to during church services. I hate to stir the coals with the un-American and un-patriotic rants, but this act seems so very…un-American, strange, and unbecoming of a U.S. President when one considers the weight and history behind that connection, which is best symbolized by Sir Winston Churchill.

Nile Gardiner director of Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom had this to say:

Obama's surprise decision to send Churchill home is both wrong-headed and crassly insensitive towards America's closest ally, coming at a time when nearly 9,000 British troops are fighting alongside their American counterparts in Afghanistan. With good reason, there are growing doubts in the UK over the new President's commitment to the Special Relationship. The President has never even mentioned the Anglo-American alliance in a major policy speech, and has little affinity for Britain.

The Special Relationship is vital to American and British interests on many levels, from military, diplomatic, and intelligence cooperation to transatlantic trading ties. If President Obama does not invest in its preservation, the end result will be a weaker United States that is less able to stand up to terrorism and tyranny, and project power and influence on the world stage.

Here is a list that Will Inboden has thrown together advising PM Brown not to bring with him to replace Churchill.



We can hope that Brown will present a bust of an inspiring notable such as a Thatcher, Lloyd George, Gladstone, or Disraeli. But then Brown has not distinguished himself as very politically adroit or attuned to the ingredients of greatness. And he does have at least a few bad options to consider. Here are three former British prime ministers whom I hope Brown will not present to Obama for display in the Oval Office:

1. Jim Callaghan, the British Jimmy Carter, who presided over the disastrous recession, stagflation, labor strife, and all-around misery of the late 1970s, and whose failure to undertake the needed free market reforms paved the way for Thatcher's rise to power.

2. Lord Frederick North, who led the way in raising taxes on the American people. Yes, on Americans. Lord North governed from 1770-1782.

3. And of course, Neville Chamberlain, who made good on his promise to engage in dialogue without preconditions with the foremost tyrant of the day.

I suppose the reader can make his or her own judgements by President Obama's prerogative to send the bust back to its rightful owners. Of course, President Obama has not released any sort of statement on the issue so any motive is speculative."

See more here: Web Link

Comments (18)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Brian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Obama did WHAT? Oh it is ON now!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Somewhere
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Somewhere in Kenya a village is missing it's idiot...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2009 at 10:56 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

Honestly, if the American people are going to through a fit over some sculpture, then it's only fit to see why our country has been in turmoil. There are more important things to worry about than some "head" that just sat on a desk. It was given to Bush, and seeing that he's out of office, the Brits' shouldn't take it back with a grain of salt. Also, how is this "un-American" if we're supposed to be the land of the free? I think the president should have a choice over whether or not he wants to keep something on his desk, put it in storage to collect dust (and god forbid he do that and then we find out years later that rats gnawed on it), or simply give it back so someone else can use it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2009 at 10:57 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

Correction- should take it back...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by I disagree with PT
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2009 at 11:15 pm

"...this act seems so very…un-American, strange, and unbecoming of a U.S. President when one considers the weight and history behind that connection, which is best symbolized by Sir Winston Churchill."

You don't throw just an amazing gesture of Britain, considering the history of SWC. You just don't "give it back". This has nothing to do with America as a free nation - and Obama's rights. This has everything to do with his ridiculous misunderstanding of the fundamental relationship between the United States and our best friends the United Kingdom.

It was either an uniformed and humiliating mistake on the part of Obama, or a telling and chilling foreshadowing of what is to become of our relationship with our best ally.

Listen, man, what if your parents were given a gift from good friends. When your parents died, and you were left in charge of the estate, would you give the gift back?

This incredible gift on behalf of the Brits after what our nation suffered on 9/11, and also knowing what SWC meant to us, was something "on loan" in name only. It was an absolute gift in name of solidarity - incredibly thoughtful - and Obama gave it back? He apparently doesn't even use the Oval office outside of meetings - preferring another little office to work in - so what was it to him? Maybe he was worried SWC's wisdom would get to him?

What an a$$.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Danbury Park
on Aug 8, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, 18 minutes ago
PToWN94566 is a member (registered user) of Pleasanton Weekly

"Honestly, if the American people are going to through a fit over some sculpture..."

Over some sculpture?

Wow, that is one way to think of it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2009 at 12:21 am

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

If my parents owned some miraculous statue that was given to them and they died, if I didn't want it I'd sell it. Which if you think about it, there are these things called estate sales that I'm sure you've heard of. No use it keeping something that someone doesn't want.

Web Link

Super long link, but there's a picture of it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by M
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 9, 2009 at 2:34 am

Quite odd indeed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mary
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 9, 2009 at 8:45 am

PT you dismay me. Sending it back is only an ill-prepared, non-statesman-like response. It could have easily been moved to another location, honor being kept, and Obama could have saved face. This man, Obama, continues to show he's a bull in a china shop and politics aren't run well by bulls.

<tsk tsk> to both of you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 9, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Obama sure loves to nag, therefore he is a nagger.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2009 at 8:29 am

"A White House spokesperson says the Churchill bust was removed before Obama's inauguration as part of the usual changeover operations, adding that every president puts his own stamp on the Oval Office."

"It was lent for the first term of office of President Bush. When the President was elected for his second and final term, the loan was extended until January 2009."

Obama now has the bust of Lincoln in its place. I see this as a fitting tribute to the 200th year anniversary of his birth and to an amazing American president. Each President decorates the Oval Office to their taste. Don't you remember the "camera event" when Bush stripped the room after Clinton left office.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 10, 2009 at 9:00 am

In the words of Mr. T, "I pity the poor fool" who feels that, of all the real issues facing Americans today, the return of a piece of statuary to its rightful owner is worthy of notice, let alone discussion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Citizen 2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2009 at 1:20 pm

"It was lent for the first term of office of President Bush. When the President was elected for his second and final term, the loan was extended until January 2009."

It was a LOAN, which means one returns it when the LOAN period has expired.

Geesh! A segment of the media will seize upon anything these days in an attempt to make Obama look unpolished and uncouth.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Classy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm

"Britain wants President Obama to put a bronze bust of Sir Winston Churchill back in the Oval Office, where it stood for the past eight years as a symbol of an enduring special relationship with America..."

"The bronze was lent to George Bush by Tony Blair in 2001 from the Government Art Collection..." and "was due to be returned. However, a spokesman for the British Embassy in Washington said yesterday: "WE HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT WE WOULD BE PLEASED TO EXTEND THE LOAN..."

(Hint, hint...)

This was likely never intended to be reclaimed by the Brits with out mutual admiration and iron support. Obama acts like he was raised by wolves without any basic etiquette training. Perhaps he should appoint an "Etiquette Czar", then maybe he wouldn't bungle such important relationships (Britain), elevate ones that shouldn't be (Iran, Venezuela, etc), or call out the police as "stupid".

Classy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Classy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Correction: This was likely never intended to be reclaimed by the Brits with ouR


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Piece of work
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm

You have got to be kidding me!

This is the first I heard about this. I just read the article. Why couldn't he have just moved it to another place in the White House if he preferred the Lincoln statue? What, not enough space?? I had an aunt who was getting on in years but faithfully visited us. Whenever she came for a visit, my wife would make sure she put out the awful and gaudy things my aunt would send over the years. We hated her taste, but even we knew it was important to make her feel good. It's called respect.

Why did the media try and cover this one up? He's one piece of work.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rest
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm

You folks do not have the whole picture, nor are you interested in the correct story on this!

Have at it and have fun!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by To rest
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Would you care to enlighten us with your "side" of the story, or do you just prefer to throw random statements of judgement out without any factual basis?

Obama is an A$$


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Prop 46: Two Bridges Too Far
By Tom Cushing | 22 comments | 2,062 views

The valley loses a distinguished and humble leader
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,378 views

My secret identity is revealed!
By Roz Rogoff | 2 comments | 1,134 views