Tales from the Trail

Obama’s Iraq speech draws lukewarm response from Marines

February 27, 2009

CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina – So much for those adoring crowds.

President Barack Obama, who is used to screaming masses and loud applause from his 2008 campaign events, got a more tepid response on Friday from a hall of Marines and sailors who listened to his announcement on pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. USA-OBAMA/

Obama, who said U.S. combat forces would be out of Iraq by August 2010, drew polite clapping from the crowd for his policy announcements, but most of his presumed applause lines fell a bit flat.

“We sent our troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein’s regime – and you got the job done,” he said. Polite applause from the crowd of roughly 2,000.

“We kept our troops in Iraq to help establish a sovereign government – and you got the job done,” Obama continued. Modest clapping. 

“We will raise military pay,” he declared. Whoops, cheers, and very loud clapping. 

“I figured that’d be an applause line,” Obama said. He was right about that.

In contrast, former President George W. Bush typically received thunderous applause when he addressed military crowds.

Military members, who were approved to speak to reporters, played down the crowd’s responsiveness to Obama’s remarks.

Sergeant Adryon Johnson, 22, of Pennsylvania said he was excited to see the president in person.

“I’ve been over there,” he said. “I’m all supportive of whatever the commander-in-chief says.”

As for the tepid applause: “Marines are pretty disciplined so, you know, at times we’re going to do our jobs and maintain a professional appearance,” he said.

“As far as when the president, as you heard him talk about pay and, you know, family benefits and things that really matters to us, applause came.”

For more Reuters political news, click here.

- Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Obama addresses Marines in North Carolina)

Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Military members who were approved to speak to reporters? That is interesting.

Posted by Heather | Report as abusive
 

The Prez would have received a resounding, prolonged applause from our troops had he stated that withdrawal from Iraq would begin THIS year, 2009. The military is unnecessarily torturing our soldiers by sending them back to this Godforsaken country after they’ve already served one tour of duty, compounding the likelihood that they won’t come back alive. Americans know full well from day one that we were deceived into invading Iraq by the Bush and Cheney team of warmongers. We want it to stop now and we want our troops home. And, we absolutely do NOT want to send troops to yet another Godforsaken country…Afghanistan. Have we elected an entire government comprised of brain-dead, inept officials with deaf ears?

Posted by minutemanII | Report as abusive
 

the applause was as grudgingly given as the acknowledgment from obama that the mission and the serge were a success.they must have also been reflecting on harry reeds statement that the war was lost.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive
 

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