Video: 46 handshakes, one bow

posted at 1:00 pm on November 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

It didn’t take too long for the Left to defend Barack Obama’s bow to Emperor Akihito yesterday by claiming that the President was merely showing cultural sensitivity to the Japanese emperor by deeply bowing.  There’s a couple of problems with that argument.  First, American Presidents do not bow to monarchs, or at least they didn’t through the first 43 Presidents and the 220 years they served as the US head of state. Perhaps a few of them might have done so out of cultural sensitivity when traveling to foreign nations as private citizens, either before or after their terms in office, but not when they represented the United States of America.  Even the New York Times knew better than that in 1994.

For those arguing that such a policy merely propagates American arrogance and that Obama wants to “change perceptions,” this video by the UConn College Republicans points out the second problem.  Heads of state do not bow and show obeisance to one another, regardless of whether either one is an American President.  The UConn group reviews 47 different greetings to Emperor Akihito and various heads of state, including a few from fellow Pacific Rim countries with similar cultural sensitivities, and doesn’t find a bow among them:

I can’t wait to see the Left chastising these world leaders for their cultural insensitivity.  They’d better include Akihito in that condemnation, too.  As yesterday’s video clearly showed, Akihito knew better than to return Obama’s bow.

Maybe some of those rushing to offer apologias for bows should have taken their cue from the White House last April, when they attempted to deny that Obama had bowed to Saudi King Abdullah at all.

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Beyond that, HE DIDN’T DO IT PROPERLY! What a joke. He’s so arrogant that he thinks he can just wing it.

marklmail on November 16, 2009 at 9:44 AM

With what this dumb-ass does around the world, I wouldn’t be surprised to read the headline;

Cybergeezer on November 16, 2009 at 10:02 AM

The left’s most elite. Shows any foreign dignitary the top of his head while similtaneously showing every american his backside.

onomo on November 16, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Does Obama simply not take advice from the State Department protocol folks? Clearly it’s commonly-known that heads of state don’t bow to japan’s Emperor.

hawksruleva on November 16, 2009 at 10:28 AM

I can’t wait to ask my WWII veteran uncle who served in the pacific theater what he thinks about this.

sidemeat on November 16, 2009 at 10:52 AM

you have to understand, he knows everything, so why does he need to actually like, listen to someone? I am sure his protocol chief probably tried to tell him, but the one need not pay attention, he floats amongst us shrouded in his own arrogance and misty know it all ‘isim’ = ignorance. He never has been good at truly entertaining others persons ideas or views, so what’s the surprise? I can see it now;

“mr pres. please let me show you how the Japanese expect greetings to be practiced”;…”uh uh hold on there, yea I know, yea okay, …hey make sure you have my 3 wood in the bag…uhm dismissed”…

imperator on November 16, 2009 at 11:06 AM

There’s that “hope and change” he promised. What a maroon! We have a lot of work to do undoing the damage this putz is causing. The real hope and change is getting rid of this buffoon after 1 term.

mozalf on November 16, 2009 at 11:40 AM

He’s like a little league kid who gets an invitation to be bat boy at Yankee Stadium and meets Derek Jeter for the first time when he’s really a minor league player that just go called up to The Show. This guy has no idea what he’s doing!

Sultry Beauty on November 16, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I noticed at the bottom of the video this came from the UCONN College Republicans. I didn’t know people who went to UCONN CAME OUT WITH THEIR BRAINS IN TACT! Believe me I know! Having survived that school and graduating in 1996.

I have since purged myself of the crap they fed me there!

BobAnthony on November 16, 2009 at 2:25 PM

The lefties are going crazy with a pic of Ike giving Charles de Gaulle a head bow in 1959. Lame.

toliver on November 16, 2009 at 7:11 PM