Just A Bit Patronizing?

Carol Platt Liebau
|
Posted: Jul 27, 2008 10:10 PM
In his appearance today on "Meet the Press," Barack Obama had this to say about German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the issue of doing more in Afghanistan:

 I, I was very impressed with Chancellor Merkel and her, her understanding of the situation.  She takes it very seriously.

Is it just me, or does Barack's approving appraisal of Chancellor Merkel's "understanding" of the situation in Afghanistan come across as just a little patronizing? 

No doubt Chancellor Merkel -- a trailblazing female figure in German politics who won a tough, closely contested election -- is head over heels with delight.  How thrilled she must be, knowing that her understanding of foreign policy and her country's obligations as they relate to Afghanistan has "impressed" Barack Obama -- a first term US senator who has, so far, managed to do little more than win one of the least competitive elections in Illinois' history.

It's worth asking, given his "sweetie" and "get over it" contretemps, whether Barack would have used the same phraseology had Germany's leader been a man.  In any case, the entire tenor of the remark reeks of presumptuousness.