Obama Bows to Emperor, World Embarrassed

by at . Comments

People love Michelle Obama photos no matter what the First Lady wears. Conversely, at least as some see it, it seems like her husband can do no right.

Some commentators are ripping President Barack Obama's bow to Japan's Emperor Akihito this weekend, accusing him of groveling before a foreign leader.

Is It Hot In Here Or ...

But is that actually the case?

While Obama bowing before the emperor looks a bit awkward, it isn't without precedent. Nor was it a sign of capitulation or anything of the sort.

U.S. presidents from both parties have often been criticized for their attempts at culturally sensitive greetings to high-ranking foreign officials.

Former President George W. Bush was mocked for holding Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's hand, a traditional sign of friendship in the Middle East.

In fact, back in 1994, former Democratic President Bill Clinton was even criticized for almost bowing to Akihito. He awkwardly stopped just short of this ...

Cultural faux pas or not, a bowing Barack just looks awkward.

If anything, Obama's encounter with Akihito could be considered a stumble because it mixed a bow with a handshake - something not normally done.

And it wasn't the first time the president, a Democrat who has been in office less than a year, has been criticized for his greeting of a foreign leader.

Critics accused him of genuflecting to Saudi King Abdullah at a summit meeting of the leaders of the top 20 rich and developing nations this year.

The bow comes during highly charged times.

Conservatives are strongly opposing Obama's policies, especially his plan to overhaul the health care system, and jump on any perceived faux pas.

Andrew Malcolm, in a blog on the Los Angeles Times, asked, "How low will the new president go for the world's royalty?" Apparently, pretty low.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Monday that the bow by Barack Obama was traditional, "a sign of respect to the emperor."

"We're in an environment rwhere everything is hypersensitive. Any move you do, there will be some group that sees some message within all that."

Tags:

Barack Obama Biography

Barack and Michelle Obama
Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. He became a Democratic U.S. Senator from Illinois in 2004, and has... More »
Born
Birthplace
Honolulu, Hawaii
Full Name
Barack Hussein Obama II

Barack Obama Quotes

I do think in Washington, it's a little bit like American Idol. But everybody is Simon Cowell.

Barack Obama

I think I'm a pretty cool dad.

Barack Obama