Call him 'President Oh-Bummer." That's what Washington Post opinion writer Dana Milbank did in his Nov. 24 column, in which he described the "stylistic gulf" between the American and French presidents at their joint news conference on Tuesday:
"Two presidents stood in the East Room on Tuesday afternoon, united in their goal of defeating the Islamic State but separated by a stylistic gulf as vast as the Atlantic," Milbank wrote.
"On the left, facing the cameras, was François Hollande, war president. He spoke of 'cowardly murderers' who 'dishonor humanity,' of a 'relentless determination to fight terrorism everywhere and anywhere,' of 'an implacable joint response,' of 'hunting down their leaders' and 'taking back the land.'
"On the right stood Barack Obama, President Oh-bummer."
Milbank noted Obama's repeated warning that everything involving terrorism and Syria "is going to be hard."
"The importance of language was very clear at the White House on Tuesday, even in translation," Milbank said.
"There was little difference in their strategies for fighting the Islamic State, but Hollande was upbeat and can-do, while Obama was discouraging and lawyerly....
"Maybe you can motivate people when you sound so discouraging. But it’s hard," Milbank concluded.