Obama bows to King

  • News
  • Thread starter Alfi
  • Start date
  • #1
Alfi

Main Question or Discussion Point

Simple question that I don't find a definitive answer to.

Is/was the bow correct protocol.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/1518581,w-obama-saudi-king-bow040809.article [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
cristo
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
8,107
72


I wouldn't have thought it was "correct protocol" (whatever that really means). That said, he's the president, so is allowed to greet royalty however he likes.
 
  • #3
2,463
97


Surely it is common practise for visitors to be advised on matters of protocol before any meeting.
 
  • #4
Evo
Mentor
23,106
2,459


Actually, the custom is to kiss the king on his shoulder. Bush kissed the king and would hold hands with him. Holding hands with men as you talk to them is a sign of friendship and trust there. I guess Obama figured a bow would raise less criticism that kissing and holding hands, but never underestimate the hate mongers.
 
  • #5
378
2


International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture There are several styles of greetings used; it is best to wait for your counterpart to initiate the greeting. Men shake hands with other men. Some men will shake hands with a woman; it is advisable for a businesswoman to wait for a man to offer his hand. A more traditional greeting between men involves grasping each other’s right hand, placing the left hand on the other’s right shoulder and exchanging kisses on each cheek.

International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture Men walking hand in hand is a sign a friendship.
http://www.cyborlink.com/besite/saudi-arabia.htm

But, it doesn't say anything about bow to others.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
174


He didn't bow for crying out loud! He was greeting his shoes.
 
  • #7
1,482
3


perhaps he extended his hand too soon and couldn't catch up to the king, hence the sudden blip in posture.
 
  • #8
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
185
80


The shoulder kissing custom was eliminated by the current Saudi King. The current custom is a simple hand shake.

The whole incident was misinterpreted in any event. The President, like any self-respecting Chicago resident, is a huge Bears fan. Acquiring Jay Cutler brings back memories of the last time the Bears had even a respectable quarterback, let alone a star quarterback. Those that remember Jim McMahon probably also remember McMahon's TD celebrations where he headbutted his team mates. Definitely cooler than a wimpy fist-bump!

Under the circumstances, it's certainly understandable that Obama would become a little over exuberant in his greetings. It's just sad that the Saudi Arabian king didn't return the gesture. He's clearly ignorant of American football history.
 
  • #9
Evo
Mentor
23,106
2,459


The shoulder kissing custom was eliminated by the current Saudi King. The current custom is a simple hand shake.

The whole incident was misinterpreted in any event. The President, like any self-respecting Chicago resident, is a huge Bears fan. Acquiring Jay Cutler brings back memories of the last time the Bears had even a respectable quarterback, let alone a star quarterback. Those that remember Jim McMahon probably also remember McMahon's TD celebrations where he headbutted his team mates. Definitely cooler than a wimpy fist-bump!

Under the circumstances, it's certainly understandable that Obama would become a little over exuberant in his greetings. It's just sad that the Saudi Arabian king didn't return the gesture. He's clearly ignorant of American football history.
:rofl:
 
  • #10
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,704
1,718


Maybe Obama meant to low-5 him. I don't think Abdullah could do a high-5 with Obama given Obama's stature and the king's mass. :biggin:

I thought Obama was more of a basketball fan than football.

Under the circumstances, it's certainly understandable that Obama would become a little over exuberant in his greetings. It's just sad that the Saudi Arabian king didn't return the gesture. He's clearly ignorant of American football history.
To be safe next time, should we send Abdullah a book on the history of Chicago sports greetings?
 
  • #11
Alfi


Thanks Evo
I thought that the kiss was the accepted greeting but I don't get to party with royals very often so I wasn't sure.


The other side story about breaking protocol is the touching of the Queen On England.

Michelle Obama's meeting with Queen Elizabeth II began with a handshake and ended in a hug.
http://www.foxtoledo.com/dpp/news/national/nat_ap_london_michelle_obama_charms_queen_2009040210552292723 [Broken]


President Obama campaigned on a platform of change. So far I'd say he's sticking to his promises.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #12
230
0


God you should here some of the rednecks/super conservative idiots in my area.

It's a greeting, I would think it's perfectly normal. What would they expect him to do if he were to go to Japan?
 
  • #13
drankin


God you should here some of the rednecks/super conservative idiots in my area.

It's a greeting, I would think it's perfectly normal. What would they expect him to do if he were to go to Japan?
That's just it. No President in the history of our nation has ever bowed to a foriegn leader. Protocol is, out of respect for the office of US President, you don't bow to anyone. It's seen as disrespect towards our American concept of equality among people and the struggle our nation has gone through to be what we have been for a few hundred years. People had to bow to kings, queens, anyone in power. We got away from that and now were back. I don't care if he starts bowing to his new dog, whatever that ended up being. He doesn't seem to care about the traditions of the office of the American Presidency in this respect.
 
  • #14
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,226
34


People had to bow to kings, queens, anyone in power. We got away from that and now were back.
Yes, yes, before this whole Obama-bowing fiasco, us Americans have never had to submit to anyone, right? Tax collectors, land lords, teachers, bosses, they've never had any power over us free, independent Americans, right? :rolleyes:

- Warren
 
  • #15
Evo
Mentor
23,106
2,459


That's just it. No President in the history of our nation has ever bowed to a foriegn leader.
Post the link to the research that proves this.

Protocol is, out of respect for the office of US President, you don't bow to anyone.
Post the link that proves this.

It's seen as disrespect towards our American concept of equality among people and the struggle our nation has gone through to be what we have been for a few hundred years. People had to bow to kings, queens, anyone in power. We got away from that and now were back. I don't care if he starts bowing to his new dog, whatever that ended up being. He doesn't seem to care about the traditions of the office of the American Presidency in this respect.
This is your opinion, not fact.
 
  • #16
230
0


Post the link to the research that proves this.

Post the link that proves this.

This is your opinion, not fact.
Thank you Evo.
 
  • #17
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
174


My guess is that it was unintentional misstep on Obama's part. Either his advisors failed to review the customary protocols, or Obama just screwed up because he was tired from the long trip. At most it was a gesture that has been taken out of context. Anyone reading more into this should probably go live somewhere where things like this matter.

At least he didn't puke at the dinner table and pass out.

A bow doesn't change the US Constitution or US foreign policy.
 
  • #18
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,774
12


I assumed it was because Obama is one of the lizard people from V - he saw a pet hamster behind the king.
 
  • #19
drankin


Post the link to the research that proves this.

Post the link that proves this.

This is your opinion, not fact.
It would be easier to post a link that shows that a President actually bowed to a foreign leader. But there is no link. Because it has never happened. I'm not a history buff so I do not have any research to support this fact. I would think that by now, someone would be able to post something, somewhere, that google would pick up that would show that President(s) in the past has/have done this.

Yes, it's my opinion. It's also my opinion that past Presidents observed my opinion as well. Until now.
 
  • #20
drankin


My guess is that it was unintentional misstep on Obama's part. Either his advisors failed to review the customary protocols, or Obama just screwed up because he was tired from the long trip. At most it was a gesture that has been taken out of context. Anyone reading more into this should probably go live somewhere where things like this matter.

At least he didn't puke at the dinner table and pass out.

A bow doesn't change the US Constitution or US foreign policy.
I think you are right. It wasn't intentionally done as President of the US. I think he forgot who he is for a moment and bowed.
 
  • #21
230
0


I think you are right. It wasn't intentionally done as President of the US. I think he forgot who he is for a moment and bowed.
Uh no, I really doubt he "forgot who he is". If its a mistake at all its minor, meaningless. I completely understand being patriotic but being arrogantly stupid in your patriotism makes no sense, ie "Our President bowed to someone, now no one will see the US as strong again."
 
  • #22
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,226
34


"Our President bowed to someone, now no one will see the US as strong again."
Bingo, binzing (hey, that's fun to say). What's funny is that the US is clearly not as strong as it once was, and is possibly well on its way to losing "superpower" status. Why do so many people want the American president to pretend otherwise?

Should our leaders remain cocky, arrogant, and beyond reproach forever?

- Warren
 
  • #23
230
0


Bingo, binzing (hey, that's fun to say). What's funny is that the US is clearly not as strong as it once was, and is possibly well on its way to losing "superpower" status. Why do so many people want the American president to pretend otherwise?

Should our leaders remain cocky, arrogant, and beyond reproach forever?

- Warren
No, IMO, they should not. It's only going to lead to more hatred of the US if we don't let ourselves (and this is where our leader comes in, being a representative of the American people) appear human.
 
  • #24
Alfi


... you don't bow to anyone. It's seen as disrespect towards our American concept of equality among people
..
He doesn't seem to care about the traditions of the office of the American Presidency in this respect.
Different strokes. I see a bow as a sign of respect, not disrespect.
How about the traditions of saying thank you and please? Your disrespect is my manners.

I think traditions should be shaken and reexamined every now and then just to see what ones are out of date.
Mark 7:8-9 (NIV)-Jesus speaking: "You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions."

President Obama campaigned on a platform of change. So far I'd say so far he's sticking to his promises.
 
  • #25
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
174


MARK SHIELDS: We spend more on defense than the next 48 countries in the world combined, combined. We are not starving the Pentagon.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june09/politicalwrap_04-10.html [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Related Threads for: Obama bows to King

  • Last Post
2
Replies
42
Views
4K
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
16
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
4K
Top