Friday, April 10, 2009

Did President Obama bow to King Abdullah? And does it matter if he did?

Oh my. This is a hot blogging subject! I read a lot of blogs and I've noticed there is an ongoing discussion about whether President Obama bowed to King Abdullah at a formal reception for the G-20 Summit last week in London. I've watched the video many times and I have to say that it certainly looked like he did bow. And he didn't bow to Queen Elizabeth II. I wonder though. Does it matter if he bowed to King Abdullah? I know it's a breach of protocol but is it really worth everyone getting upset over? What do you think? Controversy Over Obama's Saudi Bow. Watch the video: Barack Obama meets the Queen (notice the slight head incline - not a bow):


  1. Hi again Maureen!

    This is a really odd thing, I think. Surely Obama's advisors are clued up on protocol for these meetings. I have seen that a lot of people's opinions on the net are all about 'Americans dont bow to nobody man!' but this is not just about raging patriotism, its also simple etiquette. Shaking hands is a Western thing, perhaps bowing in Saudi is more appropriate? I don't think Muslims bow to each other, though. I know he didn't bow to the Queen but we don't have a tradition of bowing to the Queen (especially given our intimate history with the British Monarchy).

    If he did bow, or if he kissed Abdullah's hand, or if he reached down to suddenly scratch his knee just before shaking Abdullah's hand Im not sure I care either way. I think it's a shame it's happened as it has drawn so much flak!

    PS thanks for the comments on my site, you're now on my list as well!

  2. So what! Perhaps he just made a mistake or forgot what he should do.
    As to why it's such a hot blogging topic is beyond me.

  3. Michelloui, I agree that it's odd. President Obama would know that Americans are not supposed to bow to monarchs of any foreign country so it's very curious that he remembered not to bow to Queen Elizabeth II but he bowed to King Abdullah. It is certainly causing quite a stir in the blogosphere. It doesen't help that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs denied that the president bowed.

    Like you, I think it's a shame that it's happened but I still don't think it really matters.

    PS You're welcome and thanks!

  4. Flighty, I agree with you. It probably was just a mistake - although the White House Press Secretary should have said it was just a mistake instead of denying that he bowed when he clearly did bow.

    I think it is becoming more and more of a hot blogging topic because the people who dislike Obama have latched onto this so it has spread through the blogosphere like a wild fire. And I think even some Obama supporters are curious about why he appeared to bow to King Abdullah.

  5. Oooh yeah, I have a comment ! Basically if you LIKE or RESPECT Obama, you really don't care. And if you "hate his guts", he has committed a national disgrace, or maybe even debauched the US Constitution. I remember when Clinton lied about his private life, and was pilloried for the rest of his life by the opposing party - Maybe someone wants someone back in the White House. Hah ! Does it matter ?! H*** No !

  6. I think that is pretty much it in a nutshell. The people who like Obama and support him aren't bothered by his bow. And the people who are bothered are probaly the ones who dislike Obama no matter what he does.

  7. I try to listen to some right wing talk radio guys and they've been on about this for the last week. I think it's probably nothing, just a etiquette screw up. But it gives the wingnuts something to whinge about.

  8. That's what I think too - it was probably just a momentary lapse in correct etiquette. We all make mistakes.