Poor righties. They have been all worked up ever since President Obama won reelection, claiming that he isn’t going to leave office, and will instead declare himself “president for life.” Now that they are realizing that those claims have mostly fallen on deaf ears, they are promoting a new claim: that Obama is making a bid to become Secretary General of the United Nations, after the term of current Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
The rumor started the way all right-wing rumors start. A story in a Kuwaiti newspaper published on January 8 claims that the president wants to be the next secretary general. The Arabic language newspaper, Al-Jarida, has a history of starting rumors created largely out of whole cloth, and there is no reason to believe that this one has any validity. The site Breaking Israel News observes that this story, like another the newspaper reported about the president last spring that has never been confirmed, is of questionable accuracy because it quotes official Israeli sources, and Kuwait doesn’t have ties with Israel.
The Al-Jarida story claims that the president has discussed the idea of him running for UN chief with “Republican, Democratic, and Jewish officials in the United States.” That is laughable on its face, considering that if any such conversations with Republicans had taken place, the news would be everywhere now, not just in Middle Eastern and right-wing American media. And why “Jewish officials?”
What is making American righties even more giddy with delight is that included in the story is a claim that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose relationship with President Obama could be considered “cool” at best, intends to do everything in his power to thwart President Obama’s supposed ambitions.
According to The Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu is quoted in the Al-Jarida story as saying,
Wasn’t eight years of having Obama in office enough? Eight years during which he ignored Israel? And now he wants to be in a position that is liable to cause us hardships in the international arena.
Netanyahu is supposedly discussing his plan to sabotage Obama’s alleged desire to be secretary-general with moderate Arab states, which is a further red flag that the story is completely bogus. Even Arab countries like the UAE and Qatar have a touchy relationship with Israel when moderates are in power there. To think that they would team up with Netanyahu is a huge stretch of the imagination.
Also being ignored in the conversation is that an Obama term as secretary-general would break with the UN tradition of granting that post to a diplomat from a smaller nation. Were he to actually become secretary-general, Barack Obama would be the first in the position from a major power. And given the current tensions between Russia and the west, along with the egotism of Vladimir Putin, an Obama candidacy would certainly be opposed by Russia and its allies, and the president is very likely aware of that.
Of course right-wing sites have lost their collective minds over the thought of Obama heading the UN. Google the words “Obama UN secretary-general” and every result you get will likely be from a right-wing news source. As far as I can find, Al Jazeera, which would be probably the best placed news organization to confirm this report, has said nothing of it at all.
No, when the Obamas leave Washington D.C. sometime on or after January 20, 2017, it is likely the president will take some time to relax, maybe write his memoirs, and then get involved in humanitarian or charitable endeavor, as the last two Democratic ex-presidents have done. But it’s fun to watch the right-wing pivot from fear-mongering over a permanent Obama presidency to fear-mongering that Obama plans to rule the world.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons