Off the Record

Greta: There's nothing funny about the selfie at Mandela's memorial, especially when we need leaders to be leaders, not silly frat boys

'Off the Record', 12/11/13: President Obama, your actions at Nelson Mandela's memorial were unpresidential and inappropriate

 

By Greta Van Susteren

Okay, so I'll go "Off the Record" for just a minute.

We're going to hear from President Obama's co-conspirator in "Selfie-gate." But first, the picture. The guy with the big grin at the end, well, that is your president at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

Not exactly dignified behavior for a memorial, is it? It is true South Africans were dancing and celebrating Mandela. But that's different. President Obama is our president representing our nation at a memorial service for their president. He should make us proud, not make us want to cringe.

On the bright side, President Obama, he's mum about it today so he's not making it worse or making himself look goofier, or embarrassing us more. Can't say so much for his selfie co-conspirator. British Prime Minister David Cameron, he's still laughing like a frat brother. And he's talking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Perhaps, in my defense, you should always remember that the television cameras are always on. But in my defense, I would say that Nelson Mandela played an extraordinary role in his life and in his death at bringing people together and so, of course, when a member of the Kennet family asked me for a photograph, I thought it was only polite to say yes.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Is that funny? Is the selfie funny? Well, it might be if it were at a picnic or a party. But it wasn't. It was a memorial. Or maybe it would have been funny at a different time in history. Not when we need the leaders to be leaders, not clowns, to be respected, to help keep the lid on very serious international problems.

And let me repeat, this is not the end of the world. But it sure is easier to impress enemies and persuade them and even deter them if you're coming across as a leader, not a silly frat boy at a memorial service.

That's my "Off the Record" comment today. If you have an important story or issue you think I take "Off the Record," got to GretaWire.com and tell us about it.