Obama’s latest Oriental-leader malfunction
Paul K. writes:
This photo of President Obama speaking with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Copenhagen comes from the White House flickr site.
That’s probably not fair, as all that’s really happening is that they’re having a conversation and Obama is leaning forward to make a point. But I admit it LOOKS the way you describe. Except it’s not like a man asking a bank officer for a loan, but more like a scapegrace college student asking his father for some extra dough. As a man who never had a real father, Obama has spent his life looking for a father figure, and in typical leftist fashion keeps finding father figures in foreign, anti-American, Islamic, and Communist leaders. And it’s funny, because with the Chinese premier’s prim and restrained facial expression in response to Obama’s supplicating and confiding posture, it’s as though the Chinese were thinking, “Why is this American acting so chummy with me? Doesn’t he know that I am his adversary? These foolish Americans are ripe for the picking.”
Paul K. replies:
There are a couple of things that strike me about the photo. One is that Obama is not making eye contact with the premier. His eyes are lowered, as if he’s lost in his own words. Also, his back is bent a bit too much, recalling his bow to the Japanese emperor; the head of the tall president is lower than that of the short premier. Wen Jiabao looks stand-offish, skeptical, perhaps contemptuous.LA writes:
By the way, on top of “tweeter,” do we now have to deal with something spelled “flickr”?
Christopher B. writes:
This photo may just be an instant of time, and therefore not be very meaningful. However, the body language of Americans (and, more broadly, Westerners) can shock others. Hands in pockets, feet stuck out towards the other person, walking round with coffee in the hand, and so on. Obama is particularly bad at this—the best example being his throwing down of a wreath at a ceremony at Ground Zero a couple of years ago. People who cannot carry themselves properly in public are not taken seriously by, for example, the Chinese and Japanese. I say this after living in Japan for most of my life. When I see clips of the Oscar ceremonies, I am always shocked at the undignified way the Americans hold the trophy and wave it around, compared with the reverence with which Japanese hold it, and the way the Japanese stand and move with dignity. (The Europeans are somewhere between these two extremes.)LA replies:
Mussolini! Of course. Starting with Obama’s victory speech in the Iowa caucases in early January 2008, an arrogant, dictatorial manner began to emerge. I noted it at the time, but I never nailed it as Mussolini-like, which really does capture it.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 20, 2009 08:00 PM | Send