Question mark in the headline because I can’t tell for sure without knowing what words passed between them, but it certainly looks like a bow. Skip ahead to 0:50 and judge for yourself. Like the boss says, whether this is more or less nauseating than Bush holding hands with his pal Abdullah while they went for a garden scroll is immaterial. The fact remains that having to co-exist with the Saudis doesn’t mean having to respect them. When they stop whipping old ladies for having unrelated men in their homes, maybe then we can reconsider observing the niceties of protocol.
If this is a bow, it’s more than Elizabeth got when The One met her yesterday. Maybe if she started beheading people for not practicing the state religion, she’d have received a little more deference. Exit quotation from a 1994 edition of the NYT, contemplating the prospect of Clinton bowing to Japan’s emperor: “Canadians still bow to England’s Queen; so do Australians. Americans shake hands. If not to stand eye-to-eye with royalty, what else were 1776 and all that about?”