Obama impersonator cut short at GOP bash

"He was born in Hawaii," he went on. "Or as the Tea Partiers like to call it, Kenya."

Oh dear. A comedian hired to entertain Republican activists at their Leadership Conference in New Orleans this weekend has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Obama impersonator Reggie Brown had to be escorted from the stage mid-way through his act after some jokes which were considered rather racially inappropriate.

Many delegates were left bewildered as Brown made fun of the President's family background: referring to his white mother and black father, he said that while Michelle Obama liked to celebrate the whole of Black History month -- her husband only celebrated half.

"He was born in Hawaii," he went on. "Or as the Tea Partiers like to call it, Kenya."

The routine went on to mock the leading Republican presidential hopefuls, including digs at Mitt Romney's Mormon faith, before he was cut short.

The party strategist and former communications director Doug Heye revealed his discomfort onTwitter:

Wonder why many minorities have problems with GOP? Our fault.

You can see Brown's truncated routine here

 

Photo: Getty
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Donald Trump's inauguration signals the start of a new and more unstable era

A century in which the world's hegemonic power was a rational actor is about to give way to a more terrifying reality. 

For close to a century, the United States of America has been the world’s paramount superpower, one motivated by, for good and for bad, a rational and predictable series of motivations around its interests and a commitment to a rules-based global order, albeit one caveated by an awareness of the limits of enforcing that against other world powers.

We are now entering a period in which the world’s paramount superpower is neither led by a rational or predictable actor, has no commitment to a rules-based order, and to an extent it has any guiding principle, they are those set forward in Donald Trump’s inaugural: “we will follow two simple rules: hire American and buy American”, “from this day forth, it’s going to be America first, only America first”.

That means that the jousting between Trump and China will only intensify now that he is in office.  The possibility not only of a trade war, but of a hot war, between the two should not be ruled out.

We also have another signal – if it were needed – that he intends to turn a blind eye to the actions of autocrats around the world.

What does that mean for Brexit? It confirms that those who greeted the news that an US-UK trade deal is a “priority” for the incoming administration, including Theresa May, who described Britain as “front of the queue” for a deal with Trump’s America, should prepare themselves for disappointment.

For Europe in general, it confirms what should already been apparent: the nations of Europe are going to have be much, much more self-reliant in terms of their own security. That increases Britain’s leverage as far as the Brexit talks are concerned, in that Britain’s outsized defence spending will allow it acquire goodwill and trade favours in exchange for its role protecting the European Union’s Eastern border.

That might allow May a better deal out of Brexit than she might have got under Hillary Clinton. But there’s a reason why Trump has increased Britain’s heft as far as security and defence are concerned: it’s because his presidency ushers in an era in which we are all much, much less secure. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.