Move over, Britain: Obama alienates another ally

Via Foreign Policy, wondering if anyone’s told The One yet that the State Department has an office of protocol for this sort of thing. Maybe he knows and just assumes that if they can’t even do translations anymore, they can’t be trusted with something like this. Or maybe, as with Treasury, he simply forgot to staff the office.

When you’re the world’s biggest celebrity, you don’t have to fret over diplomatic niceties.

Brazil has become a major U.S. trading partner, with cautious economic policies that have helped it weather the crisis better than almost all other major economies. With huge new offshore oil finds and abundant ethanol, Brazil could be key to helping wean the U.S. off Venezuelan crude and shift to cleaner energies.

Still, the White House made several moves interpreted as snubs by the Brazilian media.

Silva aides said the trip was pushed forward from Tuesday because of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday – making Latin America once again look like an afterthought. Then, the White House announcement misspelled his name as “Luis Ignacio” and put “Lula” – a nickname that decades ago became a legal part of the Brazilian leader’s name – in quotes.

The White House quickly corrected the mistake.

Exit question: Any guesses as to what goodies from Best Buy’s discount bin Lula will be getting as his official gift? Someone on Twitter today mentioned baseball cards as a possibility. I like it; he could give him a few new packs every time he comes to visit until he has a complete set.