Irish PM left red-faced after delivering Obama’’s speech at White HouseMarch 19th, 2009 - 3:32 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar.19 (ANI): Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was left red faced on Tuesday when delivering his St Patrick’’s Day speech at a White House dinner party.
It emerged that he was accidentally reading off the teleprompter that was meant for President Obama.
“We begin by welcoming today a strong friend of the United States,” he began and continued in that vein for about 20 seconds before - realizing he was experiencing more than the usual case of deja vu - he looked back at the US President and said: “That’’s your speech!”
Gesturing at the teleprompter, he said: “Why don”t these things work for me? Who said these things were idiot-proof?”
Obama is becoming known as the ”teleprompter president” for his excessive use of the prompting screens, which retract when speeches are finished. Although used for more than half a century, the device was previously employed mainly for set-piece speeches. The current President, however, often uses them for making small introductory statements at the beginning of press conferences.
On this occasion, as a laughing Obama returned to the podium, the script was belatedly switched over to the Taoiseach’’s text leaving Obama inadvertently thanking himself for inviting everyone, to further laughter.
“First, I”d like to say thank you to President Obama!” the President said.
The event was one of a series held both in the Republic of Ireland and in the United States, which has a big Irish community, to mark St Patrick’’s Day.
In a move designed to mark the occasion, and the visit of the Irish delegation, the waters of the White House fountain were dyed green.
The President also met Northern Irelands First Minister, Peter Robinson, a Protestant, and his Catholic deputy, Martin McGuinness, in his National Security Advisers office. (ANI)
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