Obama praises Denmark with recycled cliché

Danish forces not the only ones “punching above their weight”

When PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen visited the White House on Monday, he received some familiar-sounding praise from President Barack Obama.

On at least three previous occasions, Obama has praised small nations in exactly the same way he praised Denmark, according to Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

“Denmark is a country that –using and American phrase – punches above its weight,” Obama told Rasmussen, referring to the efforts of Danish soldiers in Afghanistan.

Compare that to what Obama told the Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, in 2009: “Norway has always stood shoulder to shoulder with the USA, and like I told the prime minister, there is a phrase we use in the US – a boxing phrase – Norway is punching above its weight.”

When the president met with the former Irish head of state, Brian Cowen, he said: “The Irish government is punching above its weight in crucial areas.”

And when Philippine president Macapagal-Arroyo visited the White House in 2009, his country was praised with the line: “Although the Philippines aren’t among the world’s biggest nations, the country punches above its weight on the international scene.”