Caption contest: Presidential PDAs

posted at 12:46 pm on November 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Via Andrew Malcolm, we have a pre-holiday bit of frivolity for Hot Air readers, and perhaps an example of the media tilt I mentioned in an earlier post.  When George W. Bush gave Angela Merkel an unannounced (and unwanted) neck massage, the media turned it into a narrative of his diplomatic ineptitude.  We haven’t heard much about this intrusion on Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s personal space by Barack Obama — whose upbringing in Asia, Andrew notes, should have better prepared him to be more sensitive to the gauche act he committed:

For someone alleged to have grown up in Asia, Barack Obama is repeatedly clueless about customs there.

It’s one thing if you’re a tourist. But as the president of the United States? More problematic. …

Eager to take advantage of such a photo opportunity before the world media, Obama leaned in for a little kiss, as a Chicago pol might at a South Side rally where women would squeal for a presidential peck. Obama is a big political kisser. He kisses females everywhere. Introduce him at a rally, you get a kiss. Hug too, probably. He knows the ladies love it.

But Asia ain’t Hyde Park. Public kissing, even between husband and wife, is rarely seen. Between a man and woman not married it’s downright outrageous, even scandalous. So Obama’s presumably affectionate but impolite, totally out of place smooch created an international moment more awkward than a first date.

Aung San Suu Kyi appeared to instinctively pull back from the male suddenly entering her personal space. But Obama’s arm was wrapping around her.

Turning her face away, she eventually consented stiffly to the foreigner placing his lips on her cheek to avoid a scene. She did not reciprocate, even with an air kiss. Or a gracious smile.

It’s even more awkward when the kisser repeatedly mispronounces the name of the kissee, and bungles the name of the country’s ruler, as the AP reported (via Keith Koffler):

As Obama stood next to the world’s most recognized democracy icon, he mispronounced her name repeatedly.

Ever gracious, Suu Kyi did not correct her American guest for calling her Aung YAN Suu Kyi multiple times during his statement to reporters after their meeting.

Proper pronunciation for the Nobel laureate’s name is Ahng Sahn Soo Chee.

The meeting came after Obama met with Myanmar’s reformist new President Thein Sein – a name he also botched.

As the two addressed the media, Obama called his counterpart “President Sein,” an awkward, slightly affectionate reference that would make most Burmese cringe.

Note to presidential advisers: For future rounds of diplomacy, the president of Myanmar is President Thein Sein – on first and second reference.

These are the type of points about which the White House protocol office, or the State Department, usually briefs a President before making public appearances, especially away from home.  During the Bush years, these kind of fumbles became narratives about the cowboy mentality and parochialism of the Texas-raised President.  Today?  This hardly gets a mention, except for USA Today’s suggestion that none of this is important:

Obama’s kiss of the Burmese leader during Monday’s historic visit at her home in Yangon “has surprisingly elicited little or no comment in the global press thus far — quite unusual since public displays of affection represent a grave breach of custom in virtually all Asian countries,” says the International Business Times.

Public kissing “is not at all the custom (in Burma, also known as Myanmar) as it is here in Hawaii, and (Suu Kyi’s) backing away is almost instinctive for most Burmese women, even those brought up in or have lived a long time in the West,” Michael Aung-Thwin, professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii, told the publication. …

“Personal space is completely different depending on the culture. It’s very different across cultures, so you have to be respectful and knowledgeable,” body language expert Lillian Glass told ABCNews.com.

But Hawaii’s Aung-Thwin added that Obama’s apparent gaffe likely won’t cause offense among the Burmese public: “They realize that’s the custom (in the USA),” he said. “They’ll allow such concessions to any foreigner who simply doesn’t understand (local customs).”

My, how understanding the world has become — not to mention the media — in four short years!  Let’s offer this image of our head of state broadening the global culture on his trip to Burma, er Myanmar, er, Burma, and collect a few captions for today.  This will, by the way, find its way into the OOTY polls as some point.


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“I wish I would have gotten the bow”

portlandon on November 21, 2012 at 12:48 PM

He’s like a 4 year old. He has no idea what behaviors are appropriate.

vityas on November 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Aiming for the neck.

Archivarix on November 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Tell me, schatze, is it twue what they say about the way you people are… gifted? (HT Lili Von Shtupp)

Dingbat63 on November 21, 2012 at 12:51 PM

“Mmmm… dog-breath.” -OR- “Ewww… dog-breath.”

( whichever is more inappropriate )

Jeddite on November 21, 2012 at 12:51 PM

“Obama plants raspberry on reluctant recipient, deflects rebuff by saying ‘Look…I won again’”

WH spokespersons blame exchange of bodily fluid on altitude, jet lag.

BobMbx on November 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Standards…they are only for Republicans.

Hey the good news is some day the supine MSM will actually hold the President accountable….when they are a Republican in 2016 or 2020 or 2024…

abnormal_1 on November 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I may be a peace activist, but I’m about to slap you in the face.

drewwerd on November 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM

No,No, I no wanto go black !

ambuldog on November 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM

“I’m the most powerful man in the world…does that turn you on, baby?…c’mon….how ’bout a little sugar?”

BobMbx on November 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Jeddite on November 21, 2012 at 12:51 PM

LOL!

HotAirian on November 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM

When it’s the Narcissist-in-Chief, there are no boundaries. Cultural mores are irrelevant when your foreign policy cred is so sterling anyway. /

Slainte on November 21, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Remember when GWB tried to give Merckel a backrub?

The media had a field day with that.

Obama kisses a woman, who is physically trying to get away?

crickets.

portlandon on November 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Mr. BowBow

Schadenfreude on November 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Hey, Media, duh

Schadenfreude on November 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM

These are the type of points about which the White House protocol office, or the State Department, usually briefs a President before making public appearances, especially away from home.

Really? After Benghazi, who would trust the State Department about anything?

My caption: “Come on, baby! I gots a thing for Asian chicks!”

Mitoch55 on November 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM

“Hillary wasn’t kidding. You really DO stink!”

Yiwen on November 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Come to Daddy, My an Mar, er Bur Ma

Schadenfreude on November 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM

They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney, we’d have a president making diplomatic faux pas. And they were right!

rbj on November 21, 2012 at 12:59 PM

War on Women.

weaselyone on November 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Not for the first time this fool must regret firing the professional protocol staff and bringing in a bunch of political hacks in place of.

pat on November 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM

“We is both Nobel lau re ats”

Schadenfreude on November 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM

I’ve read about how to kiss a woman. I hope I’m doing it right.

cptacek on November 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM

She’s doing what my dog does when we try to kiss her and get in her “Whisker Zone”.

parteagirl on November 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Kisses from Kenya

Slade73 on November 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Wonder if he gave her a disc of his favorite rap?

pat on November 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Typically Presidents have Protocol Officers whose job it is to get very smart very quickly about the do’s and don’ts of the cultures of foreign leaders being visited by American presidents.

Now that Bam-bam has won reelection, you’d think there’d be somebody in his adminstration wise enough to actually HIRE a few of these protocol specialists.

Yiwen on November 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Pssst – want to hear my plan to get the economy back on track?

JDF123 on November 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Yiwen on November 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM
See my above. He turned the office into political patronage.

pat on November 21, 2012 at 1:03 PM

War on Women.

weaselyone on November 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM

winner so far

Slade73 on November 21, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Since when is it customary for the US President to kiss anybody??

jdpaz on November 21, 2012 at 1:04 PM

You know, after looking at the photo again, if I did that with a woman I’d be in jail for sexual assault.

Mitoch55 on November 21, 2012 at 1:04 PM

LoLz..That picture is funny..But seriously someone needs to loss their job over this..It is embarrassing..:)

Dire Straits on November 21, 2012 at 1:05 PM

“You’re warmer than Michelle”

Schadenfreude on November 21, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I respect your lady parts.

weaselyone on November 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

0bama was thinkin’ ” ‘Ladyboy’ !!!!”

LegendHasIt on November 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

“All your dog recipes are belong to us.”

Archivarix on November 21, 2012 at 1:08 PM

“Michelle’s not with me, lets slip away for awhile…”

WhoU4 on November 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

“Excuse, please. My name not ‘Reggie’.”

kingsjester on November 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

So first Governor Christie grabbed me like this then he brought his lips like this…

murty on November 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Remember when GWB tried to give Merckel a backrub?

The media had a field day with that.

Obama kisses a woman, who is physically trying to get away?

crickets.

portlandon on November 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Get real. He could have had his way with her right there in public and the media would have been celebrating how wonderful his technique is. The man can do no wrong or I should say that everything he does is righter than ever before. Heck, they could save his crap in baggies and people would be lined up to buy it no matter the cost. He is the most awesome human to grace our planet since humans came into being.

Frank Enstine on November 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

“Hope the Rohypnol is kicking in”.

tru2tx on November 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

He…

He what?

He…

He?

He looka like a man.

Fallon on November 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Accused serial murderer now caught in sexual assault. News at 11!

CiLH1 on November 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM

“Get my name right before you try to make out with me.

Cretin farang…”

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2012 at 1:12 PM

As Obama stood next to the world’s most recognized democracy icon, he mispronounced her name repeatedly.

 
Pockeystahn.
 

Isn’t it strange how he’s so particular about those pronunciations but he never says “Fruhns” for France or “Deutschland” for Germany or “Nippon” for Japan? B+, Scooter. Our American Idol culture deserves nothing less.
 
rogerb on March 29, 2010 at 8:17 AM

rogerb on November 21, 2012 at 1:13 PM

There’s also a picture of President Home Boy, putting his arm around her – and you can clearly see that she’s very uncomfortable with him doing that.

Halperin is right: He is a d!ck.

Hill60 on November 21, 2012 at 1:14 PM

This turd is so inept, incompetent, unprepared and downright pathetic. Remember when he toasted the Queen- what an embarrassment

rjoco1 on November 21, 2012 at 1:14 PM

* whispering in her ear *

“After my election, I’ll have more flexibility.”

ExUrbanKevin on November 21, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Sometimes no really does mean no

Mahna Mahna on November 21, 2012 at 1:15 PM

” Ug, get away from me you socialist filthy reeking feces ridden POS president and lying commie maggot that lies and lies.”

royzer on November 21, 2012 at 1:15 PM

NO means NO!

Tim_CA on November 21, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Since when is it customary for the US President to kiss anybody??

jdpaz on November 21, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Since when is it right? Heads of state just shouldn’t do that. Besides my paranoid mind comes up with the old spy trick of potentially dangerous makeup. In this day and age just for security reasons the POTUS should not be having such contact.

Frank Enstine on November 21, 2012 at 1:16 PM

“I’m a cultural moron”

kens on November 21, 2012 at 1:16 PM

From a bow to a kiss….

do you see the direction this is going?/

ted c on November 21, 2012 at 1:16 PM

How’s that!

royzer on November 21, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Someone needs to photo Antonio Villaragosa in place of the women. That would be real funny.

Oil Can on November 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

But he says “Pockyston”! That proves he’s cultured and stuff.

rdbrewer on November 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

well, lets look at the bright side, other dudes from her region just get their faces covered with his paw in a UN picture.

ted c on November 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

It’s things like this that make you proud to be an American…

I assume I don’t need the sarc tag…

sandee on November 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

“Come on, give us a kiss.”

rdbrewer on November 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

me gonna love you long time

ted c on November 21, 2012 at 1:18 PM

“Kiss me, you fool.”

rdbrewer on November 21, 2012 at 1:18 PM

“Personal space is completely different depending on the culture. It’s very different across cultures, so you have to be respectful and knowledgeable,”

First black presidents have to be neither. They get a pass thanks to the racist media who think the color of his skin excuses him from everything.

The Rogue Tomato on November 21, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Obama: “What, this isn’t Russia?”

rdbrewer on November 21, 2012 at 1:19 PM

“Kissy kissy. Now you love me long time, right?”

The Rogue Tomato on November 21, 2012 at 1:19 PM

“On Yuan Coo Chee.” What a dork.

Kenosha Kid on November 21, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Also the queen received an ipod instead of a kiss. She was the lucky one.

Oil Can on November 21, 2012 at 1:19 PM

” ribbit “

burrata on November 21, 2012 at 1:19 PM

It’s even more awkward when the kisser repeatedly mispronounces the name of the kissee, and bungles the name of the country’s ruler,

it’s a tiny country and I won dammit!
/bh

ted c on November 21, 2012 at 1:19 PM

How embarrassing.

rdbrewer on November 21, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I’ll leave a $20 on the lectern, sugar….

ted c on November 21, 2012 at 1:20 PM

“Abstinence Works!”

(Where’s Sexual Harrassment Panda when you need him?)

Tim_CA on November 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM

“It’s so strange kissing a foreign Leader on THIS end.”

-Obama

portlandon on November 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Obama is probably thinking she needs to be respectful of our culture. We have sexual freedom without consequences, government mandated/funded contraception, and unlimited access to abortion. This was a cultural message to her people that they need not be repressed. How can you get mad at a progressive for being progressive?

weaselyone on November 21, 2012 at 1:22 PM

“You’ll warm up to me Suki-san once you feel my tongue in your ear.”

Cicero43 on November 21, 2012 at 1:22 PM

portlandon on November 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM

lmfao!

Tim_CA on November 21, 2012 at 1:23 PM

“I’ve to get me some trim, baby”

BobMbx on November 21, 2012 at 1:23 PM

This is Smart Power?

kingsjester on November 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I’ll bet if you criticized his protocol advisers you’d be called a bigot!!!

bflat879 on November 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Her: Get off me!

Him: Hey, Toots! How about a little smackeroonie? I got a cd of my greatest speeches in it for ya. Michelle hates it when I do this.

ghostwalker1 on November 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM

When I blow in your ear, you will follow me anywhere!

GarandFan on November 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM

That’s right… my Stimulus Package *IS* a big f’n deal.

torreyspears on November 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM

“Ooh, you really do have forked tongue …”

ShainS on November 21, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Yes that is an election in my pocket and I am glad to see you

murty on November 21, 2012 at 1:26 PM

“Um, huh, don’t back away. Obamasite wants a hug and Obamasite gets a hug”

rsherwd65 on November 21, 2012 at 1:27 PM

“Aaaaw, c’mon baby. Jusht one little kish, *hic*

mrt721 on November 21, 2012 at 1:27 PM

“You’ll have more flexibility after I get a couple of beers in you”.

Paul-Cincy on November 21, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I think back fifty years ago and the description would be:
UGLY AMERICAN

mitch088 on November 21, 2012 at 1:27 PM

For a guy who is so ostentatiously worldly when pronouncing Poh-kee-stahn, it’s funny how Jugears is such an oblivious buffoon whenever he travels outside the country.

Cicero43 on November 21, 2012 at 1:28 PM

This capsule will pass through your ear canal, enter your brain and make you love me forever! They’re very popular in the United States, especially among the media.

IndieDogg on November 21, 2012 at 1:29 PM

“SLORC were amateurs. Just wait.”

Kenosha Kid on November 21, 2012 at 1:29 PM

You know the seats in Air Force One recline all the back.

Oil Can on November 21, 2012 at 1:29 PM

It’s one thing if you’re a tourist. But as the president of the United States?

These are not mutually exclusive. As far as I am concerned our President is a tourist.

weaselyone on November 21, 2012 at 1:30 PM

“I just want to say that I’ve always admired Toyotas.”

Cicero43 on November 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

For the first time in my adult life, I’m ashamed of my country.

Mimzey on November 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

You know how to whistle, don’t you, Aung San? You just put your lips together and blow.

JPeterman on November 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

* In a hushed tone *

“Don’t worry … I’m here to screw my country, not you.”

ShainS on November 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Happy ending massage please….”little barack” is tense, mama-san.

Sir….this is a dentist’s office.

Sure honey…less talkie…more rubbie.

Tim_CA on November 21, 2012 at 1:32 PM

“Come on baby. I just won the election and I’m feeling flexible

HotAirian on November 21, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3