Twitter

President Obama: Sekrit Muslin Hugger


I saw this last week and didn't get a chance to post. It seems that criticism of the President is starting to get sad...
Isn't this whole scene pretty standard for President Obama? The Europeans get a handshake and the Islamist Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gets a hug. And all the president seems to have in mind is campaign politics and his reelection effort.
This, in response to the White House Pool Report detailing the greetings at the G20 Summit:
POTUS entered the room at 1:15 and took to his left, heading to Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy. They chatted for a few seconds before British Prime minister David Cameron joined them. Hard to understand what they were saying amid the cameras noise.

POTUS then took a stroll to Australian Premier Julia Gillard who got a hug as European president Herman van Rompuy, European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan were watching. Eventually the Europeans got a handshake but Erdogan got the hug treatment.

POTUS then walked all the way around after noticing that "people are really far away around there." He stopped for quick handshakes and reached out to President Hu of China, telling him 'ni hao' (hello). They cordially shook hands and posed for photographers.

POTUS then went to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudohyono as Sarkozy was calling the room to order (and the journos to leave).

POTUS then greeted his Argentinian counterpart Cristina Kirchner who just got reelected without runoff. Angela Merkel was just congratulating her (in English). "So Nicolas, we all have to take lessons" of Kirchner's victory, joked POTUS, who's up for reelection in '12, as Sarkozy is (next May).
Look, I'm all for criticism of the President. Knock yourself out, as there is plenty of criticism for the guy.

But Daniel Halper's screed at The Weekly Standard smacks of juvenile tom-foolery. So the President hugged a world leader. So what?

I'll tell you what. The fact that President Obama hugged a Muslim leader fits very nicely into the meme that the President is somehow unAmerican. It fits very nicely into the meme that the President is "not one of us". That he "supports the terrorists", or some other such nonsense.

Halper needs to loosen his tinfoil hat. Clearly it is cutting off the circulation to the rational part of his brain.

------
July 21, 2008 New Yorker magazine cover by illustrator Barry Blitt.