Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 9:23 am on November 14, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Here’s a rare Saturday OOTD for Hot Air readers, but this one can’t wait for Monday.  Andrew Malcolm reports on Barack Obama’s latest breach of protocol, this time with Emperor Akihito of Japan:

How low will the new American president go for the world’s royalty?

This photo will get Democrat President Obama a lot of approving nods in Japan this weekend, especially among the older generation of Japanese who still pay attention to the royal family living in its downtown castle. Very low bows like this are a sign of great respect and deference for a superior.

To some in the United States, however, an upright handshake might have looked better. Remember Michelle Obama casually patting Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on the back during their Buckingham Palace visit? America’s royalty tends to make movies and get bad reviews and lots of money as a sign of respect.

Obama could receive some frowns back home as he did for his not-quite-this-low-or-maybe-about-the-same-bow to the Saudi king not so long ago.

Seven months ago, the White House insisted that Obama didn’t bow to Saudi King Abdullah, understanding the terrible breach in presidential protocol that it represented.  They tried to tell reporters that Obama was picking something up off the floor, which the video clearly shows was a lie (at the link).  Take a look at the picture of Obama’s bow to the son of Hirohito.  Do you see anything on that immaculate floor that requires retrieval?

American Presidents do not bow to royalty.  In fact, heads of state do not bow or genuflect to each other in the normal course of diplomacy.  At least, they didn’t until this amateur came into office and failed to learn from the first time he did it.  What will the White House say this time?  He got stomach cramps?

Update: Here’s video of the bow from a reader that wishes to remain anonymous:

Clearly a bow … and clearly not reciprocated.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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