When it appeared that Obama bowed to the Saudi King back in April (on April Fools Day, oddly enough), an Obama aide was quoted as saying, “It wasn’t a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he’s taller than King Abdullah.”
I’m guessing that’ll be the same explanation for this photo of Obama definitely not bowing to the Japanese Emperor, because he’s certainly taller than Akihito:
Other Obama admin. excuses will be “lost a contact lens” and “threw his back out carrying the weight of the world.”
One definition of “Bowing” in Webster’s Dictionary is “to bend the head, body, or knee in reverence, submission, or shame.” If I didn’t have a pretty good inkling of what Obama is all about, I’d be more than happy to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it was a polite gesture.
I’ll leave the analysis to people who know more than I do about presidential protocol, but I do know that when a U.S. president is overseas, he’s there as a representative of all Americans and not as a subject of whatever ruler he’s meeting with, or as a “subject” of said ruler. True, Bush once bowed before the Saudi King, but that was to receive a medal (a fact that was left out of many reports) and was not a bow of subservience.
If bowing is just a general sign of respect, how come no world leaders that I’m aware of ever return the favor and bow to Obama? (no, Brian Williams doesn’t count)
It’s not the bowing that bothers me as much as that it’s such a one-way street. But this is not surprising given the “blame America first” attitude that has metastasized in recent years which has given us a president whose business card says “We’re sorry” above the flag (it’s being changed to “They’re sorry” but the order is still at the printer’s).
If Obama wants to bow to somebody, he should bow to our troops and either send the requested help to Afghanistan, or get them all out of there: