The presidential bow


You knew this was going to get folks going, didn’t you? President Obama bowed when greeting Japanese Emperor Akihito with Empress Michiko over the weekend.

True, it might be an act of tradition and manners but there are two long-standing tenets of protocol in America: The flag never flies lower than any other country’s and the president bows to no one. Others disagree, of course.

The usual suspects said the usual things, according to AFP:

The gesture appears to have touched a particularly raw nerve among Obama critics who said the president has hastened America’s decline as a world superpower by being too apologetic and too deferential in his dealings with other world leaders.

While most of the commentary about the bow in Japan was decidedly negative, some political observers, like longtime Democratic activist Donna Brazile, came to the president’s defense.

“I think it’s a gesture of kindness,” she told CNN, adding that the bow appeared intended to show “goodwill between two nations that respect each other.”

Both comments pretty much mirror those uttered last spring when the president appeared to bow to a Saudi king:

And some even said he showed too much deference to Queen Elizabeth: