A polite nod of the head, especially to a lady, I can understand, especially in a social rather than political setting, there is a photo of Ike bowing as he is introduced to, I think, Queen Beatrice.
Or before a Patriarch or Pope, since there the bow is not to man but to God.
But the current POTUS seems to be intent on bowing to any foreign leader in his official capacity.
Joe, he seems to be able to recognize his betters. It’s just too bad he’s in the role of representing us while he does this so often.
Well he can’t exactly bow to some Asian leaders and not to others, can he?
Never understood what the big deal is here. in Asia, the bow is a greeting and sign of respect. Obviously he doesn’t need to bow, which actually makes it more courteous that he does. It would be incourteous in the extreme to bow to some Asian leaders and not others…And for what it’s worth, no one is under the impression that this makes him (or by association, us) weak. I’d say it’s a far sight more a sign of weakness not to be able to bow down, because you are afraid this will portray weakness.
While I respect your perspective and desire for the US to show respect to other countries, it is not the “Proper” behavior with respect to diplomatic relations between nations. We do not expect the Premier of China, Korea, Japan, etc… to bow to our President, we expect to (for all perceptions) “relate” to other countries on a level field.
It is subtle, and may seem trivial, but notice the outrage among American’s (again it may seem trivial, but actions and images captured in still life for posterity, affect nations deeply.)
The Man Should not Bow! Period! He has been instructed not to do so but internal aides, and requested to not do so by the American public… yet… in what appears to be his continued arrogance, he continues still. Leaves a bad taste.
The bow is (and always has been) a sign of subservience in the Orient. A bow is nothing more nor less than presenting your neck to a superior in a gesture that says, “if this servant offends you, feel free to take my head.” The superior bows at a shallower angle so that he may keep his eyes on the other while offering a token of respect. Equals (and this is REGARDLESS of which Asian culture) bow to the same degree. To bow lower than the other is (at best) expressing a rude false humility, and at worst expressing that you actually consider yourself at the service of, or less important than, the other person.
Look at the picture of President Obama with Hu Jintao. How deeply does Jintao bow? He doesn’t. Jintao is accepting the obsequience of the President of the United States. We’re a country founded upon the concept that every citizen is as good a man as a king. Here, he is not showing respect. He is showing deference. I honestly don’t think he even knows it. I think he’s telling his protocol team, “I grew up in Asia, I think I understand the culture better than you.” Of COURSE a young boy in Indonesia would bow deeply to everyone around him! He’s a LITTLE BOY. Now, he’s the representative of the government of the United States of America. If a foriegn potentate offers a slight bow, he can choose to return that bow to the same degree, and not one arc minute lower. This is just embarrassing.
I remember Gerry Ford making a state visit to Japan. It was funny seeing him in a morning coat meet the PM of Japan, whom he towered over, and both bow deeply to each other. I had a hard time not laughing.
Of course, no one thought Ford was acting obsequiously either. Probably had something to do with the fact that Ford was a Naval Officer in the Pacific during the great WW2.
Sorry to disabuse you of your airy notions of Asian mores, Liz, but in fact, De Won’s virtual prostration before the Emperor was actually considered a shocking want of appropriate manners in Japan, and was so embarrassing for the public to behold that most of the local media suppressed their coverage photos of President Ignoramus’ impropriety on display.
Really Cybella? Things certainly must have changed since I lived over there.
Back then, bowing happened all the time in interactions between American military leaders and Japanese. It was expected (Quartermaster mentions Ford above). Hard to believe so much has changed in only a decade. Now there’s “shock” at such antics you say? Think I can guess where you read that….
It’s all in the type and depth of the bow, Liz. Between equals, the bow should be no more than a courteous inclination of the head. Bowing from the waist with eyes cast down is an acknowledgement of subservience.
Obie’s deep bow to the Emperor was, in Japanese eyes, the equivalent of seeing a janitor meeting the CEO of SONY.
Both Ford and the PM bowed from the waste quite deeply. Both were smiling quite widely as well. The PM is not head of state, that was Hirohito at the time. But the bow was just as deep on both sides. Any meaning to that? I have no idea. But, that’s what happened.
Valid – only IF the other side reciprocates. In these instances that has not been the case. This is just the autonomous reaction to his creditors – sending the message of “pull-lease don’t foreclose on me!”
Maybe he saw a shiny penny on the floor and was bending over to get a closer look to decide if he wanted to pick it up.
The fellow he’s bowing to told his buddies he was delighted the CEO of our Western Holdings showed so much respect.
Maybe he’s just looking for cash to be passed in that handshake.
BHO understands exactly what he is doing and the message he is sending.
I agree with Ron. He knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s that “I believe in American exceptionalism like I believe in exceptionalism too” bit. And remember, his wife wasn’t proud of our country for his election. Barak doesn’t know who he is or who he’s representing. Otherwise, he most certainly would be a different person. But alas we’ve elected a fool to lead us.
I wonder if this is the Indonesian training kicking in… don’t the ethnic Chinese pretty much run that country?
It is the Saul Alinsky training kicking in. Nothing ethnic about it.
You might be thinking of Singapore. In years past, there has been quite a bit of violence directed towards ethnic Chinese in Indonesia by the native Indonesian populace. The fact that those ethnic (Han?) Chinese residing in Indonesia don’t share the primary religion of that country may have something to do with it.
That violence seems to have subsided recently, perhaps due to China’s economic growth and political influence?
He is just soooo much a little punque (that is a dainty pussified version of a PUNK). It went way beyond tiresome his act of belittling himself and this country by extension every time he tries to kiss ass and take names. He just needs to stay home and shut up.
He’s jus thinking “dang, dem’s some hot treads there Mr Premier”. Either that or Wen’s fly is open.
What Mike D. said.
This POTUS may be an American, but he’s not an American in his heart.
Best regards, Peter Warner.
Barack Hussein: “Damn, ! Those are some sweet kicks!”
Chinese President Hu Jintao: “Ahhh, thank you. I hear most of your cabinet supports the fundamentals of Mao, too!”
Barack Hussein: “Ahh, yes! We can’t wait to be China’s next province.”
Ear Leader did, however, find time to wag his finger at the Canadian Prime Minister… such a class act he is.
Most of the above may have valid points but I look at this particular case a bit differently.
I am not sure he is bowing, but I do know what he is NOT doing…
I was taught to always look a man in the eye when shaking his hand, that only then will he will know your honesty and you his.
Think by now he’s just doing it to piss us off. If you do it to everybody, I guess then it doesn’t matter who you do it too.
All of this bowing, while he doesn’t recognize Israel’s leaders, the very country who may be most affected by this summit. TheOne doesn’t treat our own allies, Great Britain and Australia, nearly as well… they weren’t even invited!
Let us remember that the occupant of the White House fails to comprehend the manifest destiny of the United States. He has stated more than once that we are no better than any other nation. However, in this case in bowing to the Chicoms, he is acknowledging the fact that they could destroy us tomorrow by calling in all the US debt they hold. They hold it because of the stupidity of past Presidents and the US corporate board rooms.
Didn’t his mother raise him up right? She should have slapped little Baracky upside the head and told him to stand up straight when he was shaking hands with strangers.
Since little Baracky’s mother failed to impart the message, Lady Liberty oughta swipe that green torch upside the head and give him the news. The President of the United States bows to no man or woman.
Me thinks he does it on purpose. The more enraged the conservative spectrum gets, the emore easier it is for main stream media to paint it as nasty and dangerous, scaring of swing voters and mobilizing the progressive base.
I don’t see the conservative getting enraged over things like this. Rising contempt, perhaps, but not rage.
The contempt, however, seems to be having some affect on the left. They get more crazy as the days wear on.
Actually I had at first the typical continental European attitude towards it – call it lassez-faire, call it cynism – that US-Americans take it to seriously not to bow ones head once in a while East-Asians take the meaning of some small, informal politeness to serious, if they think it means anything politically.
AFAIK Hu-Jintao has snubbed him several times – that is not repaid any politeness – and because of this it gets a political meaning, that is it looks subservient, which is inappropriate.
Ok, another such European critizing the American President. I’ll quit typing but not before I bow my head for a last time.
What I tell you three times is true, or three times is a charm: Our duly-elected President is a very Un-American person. God help us.
OK, to try to cut the guy some slack; (pro forma, you betcha) I read here in my pocket copy of the Constitution, in the “Fascinating Facts About the Founders” section:
“President George Washington would bow to guests at presidential receptions to avoid physical contact. This tradition lasted through the presidency of John Adams. Washington would rest one hand on a sword while holding a hat in the other to avoid the remote possibility of anyone forcing a handshake.”
George was being polite and avoiding contact like a decent autistic person; Barry is being obsequious to foreigners. F@#k Barry. There. I said it.
What makes you think Washington was autistic? Maybe it’s just my cynical side talking, but if I was 6’2″ and most men were about 5’2″, and I had a mouth-full of ill-fitting wooden dentures, I think I’d adopt a position of formality in these events where I could stand erect and not smile or talk much.
Kind of funny, isn’t it? We’re the only mammal, and perhaps the only animal, on the planet that greets each other by baring our teeth, which happen to be one of our few natural weapons. To the animal kingdom that’s kind of akin to greeting your neighbor by pulling a shotgun out of your overcoat and pointing it at him.
Washington led *armies*. Not merely directed them, he *led* them. He could have requested to be *emperor* of this country and had it, he was so enamored of. Now I’m supposed to believe he was autistic enough to be diagnosed 200 years after he died but these symptoms were also what endeared him to the populace and his solders? I’m finding that one hard to swallow.
One of the rules he wrote down for himself in that self-improvement book was to avoid walking on his toes. You must understand that I believe a touch of the “A” to be more of a feature than a bug. I do despise the socially facile assholes.
The funny thing is, Jefferson is thought by some to have been an aspie, and he’s the President who started the hand-shaking tradition.
To a Virginia gentleman of his time and place, being a leader would have seemed to be his natural calling. His manners were learned, though, and to a great degree self-taught. He was famous for his self-control, and even more famous for what he said when his self-control failed and he started cussin.
Ok, here’s some hate speech for you, Mr. Soetero:
I urge any and all to hate you and your kind, to loathe you, to shudder at your approach, and rejoice at your departing, to see your shadow and draw back as from a viper. May your children hate you, your neighbors hate you, your mom, dad and Aunt Ida hate you. May your dog and his fleas hate you. I urge all people to band together into societies, clubs and fraternal associations to hate you. I beg them to relentlessly revile you, to rename fungal diseases and offal-eating insects after you, to, when they step in something loathesome, look at their shoe bottom and think of you. I urge the world’s artists to illustrate their hatred of you in paintings, sculpture, and, dare I say it, cartoons. May they be joined by the world’s writers whom I implore to write epics of hatred of you, the world’s musicians to compose songs of hatred of you, and the world’s dancers to choreograph interpretive dances of hatred of you. May Wal-Mart sell inexpensive T-shirts and coffee mugs embellished with “I H8[insert your picture here]” …At Christmastime may the citizens of communities all around the world gather together in their public spaces, join hands in great circles, smile upon each other, and, while swaing rhythmically, harmoniously chant “We Hate Obama!” I beseech all the creatures that walk the land, all the fish that swim in the sea, and all the birds that flit through the sky to hate you. May the dirt beneath your feet hate you. May burning hot hatred of you grow till it provides and economical substitute for fossil energy.
Ok, I’m tired of typing. I’m quoting somthing I saw at Zoe Brain’s blog, she quoting it from Ed Morrow. It goes on with the hate until the heat death of the Universe, which is how I feel about that loathesome criminal in the Oval Office.
It is possible that, given The Won’s last physical resulted in an official note to moderate his alcohol intake, The Won is actually not bowing but rather studiously guiding his own hand into contact with the Chinese Premier’s hand in much the same way a drunken person stumbling home will peer intently at the keyhole whilst trying multiple times to stab that key home with the hand.
Note that I don’t believe this is true, I’m just trying to justify a reason other than incompetence.
I found it humorous that certain members of the left I read postulated that G.W. Bush was stupid because his mother drank during her pregnancy, and thus Bush was not only a lush from his college days on but suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome which evidenced itself only during his Presidency but remained dormant while he was flying interceptors or making millions in business. The stupid part was taken as a given, you understand.
So, turnabout being fair play, I’m going to go with The Won being drunk. Because he couldn’t possibly be so stupid as to bow to a foreign head of state in his official capacity, could he? Why, that would make him even stupider than Bush!
Please see what I wrote directly above this post of yours. No excuses. I have enough evidence. I hate.
I must sign off now, wanna get some rest and clean up for the T Potty tomorrow. Don’t wanna look like what they say we look like.
"Sign on, young man, and sail with me. The stature of our homeland is no more than the measure of ourselves. Our job is to keep her free. Our will is to keep the torch of freedom burning for all. To this solemn purpose we call on the young, the brave, the strong, and the free. Heed my call, Come to the sea. Come Sail with me." -- John Paul Jones
"Pardon him, Theodotus; he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature" --George Bernard Shaw, "Caesar and Cleopatra"
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."--Friedrich Nietzsche
"A kind Providence has placed in our breasts a hatred of the unjust and cruel, in order that we may preserve ourselves from cruelty and injustice. They who bear cruelty, are accomplices in it. The pretended gentleness which excludes that charitable rancour, produces an indifference which is half an approbation. They never will love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate."--Edmund Burke
“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”--General Sir Charles Napier