When is a bow not a bow?

When your handlers know how badly you just screwed up.

Without a doubt, American President Barack Hussein Obama bowed to the Saudi king. (Watch 0:54 – 0:57 below.)

The White House swears, “no!” But such protest is made under the condition of anonymity.

Bow away, President Obama. Your 1) lack of American pride, or 2) lack of experience, or 3) true loyalty is showing. I suppose there’s always the chance it’s a combination of the three.

This has been around for a few days, but all I’d seen was a still photo. He could have been coming up from tying his shoes in that one. The video seals the deal, though.

H/T: Freedom Eden


  1. Kathryn says:

    His cultural awareness was showing. That was a polite greeting, not a gesture of fealty.

  2. Come on Kathryn. Hasn’t it been a long held belief in the US not to yield to ‘royalty’.

  3. So, why didn’t he show his cultural awareness and bow to the Queen of England?

    Just asking…

  4. Whatever says:

    Did the First Family bow when they met the Queen of England last week? Gosh, I sure hope not. That would be sending the totally wrong message that we are beholden to the Brits!!!! I going to go find the nearest BP to ransack!

  5. Did Abdullah get an iPod loaded with Obama speeches too?

  6. I heard it was footage of the queen’s visit to the U.S. a couple of years ago.

    I’m going to apply to be the White House gift giver. Personally I think the queen needed one of these.

  7. Kathryn says:

    Asians of all sorts bow, not just the Eastern. It means hello, goodbye, thanks, etc. It is a gesture of esteem. If I introduced you as a friend, Cindy, chances are my fil would have bowed to you. Bowing to royalty is almost meaningless ’cause you treat the grocer and the neighbors the same way.

    Remember the footage from Desert Storm, when the poor Iraqi guy came out of the hole and groveled until the US soldier said, “You’re ok.” That was fealty.

  8. But why would Obama only bow to own person whose culture bows? There were several in the room, and no reports of bowing to those.

  9. Kathryn says:

    Don’t know. Maybe he prefers it to holding hands with the man? 😉 If he did bow, say to the Indian prime minister, do you think it would be newsworthy?

  10. I think so. The point, overall, is the way American presidents have managed these types of introductions in the past. Bowing, from what I’ve read, is a no-no.

  11. The Lorax says:

    So is holding hands, though.

  12. Kathryn says:

    I don’t mind either one, really. Easy going person that I am, I’d even be ok with bowing to the queen if it made the Brits feel good. She’s more a symbol than a monarch. No doubt, this is why I’m not the protocol officer anywhere.

  13. That’s funny, because I wouldn’t mind either one, either. But I’m not the leader of the free world.

    I love reading books where language like “at your service” or “I am your servant” is used. We’ve moved so far away from what’s good for others and into what’s in it for me that it scares me sometimes.

  14. Kathryn says:

    Well, if the Pope can kiss the tarmac, I guess the President can bow. John Paul II could have enticed my then-Calvinist soul to jump ship. Humility is not at odds with the exercise of authority–in fact, it’s an awfully good place to begin.

    Have a Happy Easter, my friend.

  15. J. Strupp says:

    Big non-issue…again. His actions were, no doubt, a gesture of greetings and respect.

  16. Such a big non-issue… why were Arab news networks carrying the story before US media then?

  17. J. Strupp says:

    It sells newspapers and/or gets ratings.

    So does covering Brittney Spears or that Lohan chick.