Thursday, April 2, 2009

Storm in a Teacup, Much Ado About Nothing

The Queen and Michelle ObamaWe all remember Michelle Obama's fist bump, fist dap, or terrorist fist bump that seemed to land her husband, then presidential candidate Barack Obama, in hot water, especially at the FoxNews network.

Well, something of the sort almost happened again, but this time not to candidate Obama but to President Obama.

It seems that his wife, the First Lady, did the unthinkable, she placed her arms around the Queen, a faux pas of considerable magnitude that usually brings the offender a censure to equal the gravity of slighting Royalty.

"Touching the monarch is usually off limits, but as the first lady and the Queen cosied up at Buckingham Palace, were we witnessing a softening of royal protocol?

"Whoever briefed Michelle Obama on the things one does and doesn't do with one's hands when one meets the Queen must be wondering what went wrong.

"Within minutes of their first encounter at Buckingham Palace yesterday, America's first lady broke royal protocol by doing the unthinkable: she gave the Queen a hug. The monarch, for her part, responded with equally flagrant disregard for convention by returning the gesture.

"Proceedings had begun innocuously enough following the Obamas' arrival at the palace - polite handshakes, a curtsey and chit chat with the Duke of Edinburgh, who asked the president how he'd managed to stay awake all day.

"Then, at the "getting to know you drink", there was an exchange of dialogue between Michelle Obama and the Queen (they seemed to compliment each other on their shoes). At this stage, with everything going so swimmingly, the first lady put her arm around the Queen. The monarch appeared awkward at first, but after this initial surprise and hesitation, she seemed to respond positively by putting her arm round Obama's waist.

"So it was not quite a major diplomatic incident. And does it reflect a softening of the royal protocol that forbids physical contact with the Queen beyond handshakes? The Queen is widely regarded as formal but close observers point out that a number of traditional rules for dealing with the monarch have been relaxed in recent times. Bowing, for example, is no longer required.

"Nor is Michelle Obama the first person to have initiated physical contact with Elizabeth without ending up in the Tower. At least four people are known to have broken this rule, the first being Alice Frazier, who hugged the Queen in Washington in 1991 during her 13-day US visit.

"The second was Paul Keating, the then prime minister of Australia, dubbed the "Lizard of Oz" by the British tabloids after he was photographed with his arm around her in 1992. The third was John Howard, Keating's successor in 2000 (though he subsequently denied there had been any contact), and the fourth was the Canadian cyclist Louis Garneau in 2002.

"Despite the outrage in some quarters, the Queen appeared to take no offence at their actions. Keating stayed as the Queen's guest in her private Balmoral home."

It seems that reporters misread the moment, and attributed to the First Lady a conduct that never happened.

According to witnesses that were near by, it was the Queen that actually initiated the hug, placing her arm around Mrs. Obama as she remarked playfully about the First Lady's height, adding the gesture of a hug to support her remarks.

The First Lady responded by placing her arms around the Queen. The embrace seemed spontaneous, and it was just as brief as it was spontaneous.

But it quickly became the hug that embraced the circumference of the world, printed up in newspapers, and seen on millions of television sets.

On slow news days, and a zealousness to put the Obamas' in their place, this is the kind of story that leads.

Surely the British, as a people, were not offended en masse by this brief show of affection and getting-alongness. No Monarch, Queen, King, Prince, or Princess, should be above receiving a hug from a commoner, even one that happens to be the first African American First Lady of the United States.

I'm sure they, as well as the Queen, were honored that the two struck this friendly cord so early, clearly reestablishing the fine relationship that both nations have enjoyed over the years.

I hear that the Queen was so taken with Mrs. Obama that she asked her to stay in touch. You see, Queens are people, too. They want friends as much as the next person. And it must get pretty lonely within the walls of Buckingham Palace, so it's nice from time to time to step out of the shadows of pomp and ceremony and just be yourself.

Also during the visit, Michelle Obama visited a predominately black all-girl school were she gave a "pep talk" to the student body after she was entertained with song from the school choir.

She told them about her humble beginnings, the unexpected path that her life has taken, and the value of education in making it all happen. She encouraged the young students to dream big, that the world needed their contributions.

The First Lady was clearly touched by an outpouring of affection from the students, many of whom received hugs from her. "She touched me! She hugged me!," several young girls exclaimed, visibly and emotionally shaken by the encounter, some with tear-stained cheeks.

We often talk about the impact that President Obama will have on blacks around the world, from Brazil to Nigeria. Little did we know that his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, may have an impact as great, if not greater than, his.

She will encourage, inspire, and empower young black girls and women around the world to cast off the shackles of low expectations, and the presumption of low achievements, with a can-do spirit that will bring to their respective countries--generation after generation--a wellspring of smart, intelligent, and capable leaders, leaders that will compete as equals with their male counterparts, taking their rightful place alongside the best of them.


GrannyStandingforTruth said...

The media is so busy trying to nitpick for anything they can come up with, until they cannot see the forest for the trees. The other countries appreciate our President more than our country does. Smh!

The media doesn't want to give him the credit due our President. They want to downplay and nitpick and dissect it until they can come up with something negative to say about the President and his wife. It's really sickening and disgusting. smh!

Maybe, they should let Bush come back and finish the job.

Black Diaspora said...

"The other countries appreciate our President more than our country does."

And that's a shame, Granny. I'm glad that the Repubs got to see how much the rest of world adores him and supports what he stands for.

But I don't think it will make them rethink how they treat him here at home.

President Obama has had such a tight schedule on these trips, I wonder how he manages to have the stamina to perform at the high level he's called on to do.

So many meetings and so little time.

The media needs to back off, especially Rupert Murdock. He and his minions at FoxNews are stirring up a brew that's going to be hard to swallow if people begin to drink too much of it.

There's that 9-12 Project gaining more and more steam of late. Despite its purported harmlessness, I'm afraid that it's going to become something anti-America, and un-American.

I don't watch FoxNews, but I may have to, to keep an eye on those that wish to destroy liberalism in this country.

Glenn Beck may get out there ahead of Hannity as the number one guy to watch.

They want to make people believe that liberalism is this great evil and has to be stopped at all cost.

Maybe, they should let Bush come back and finish the job."

Granny, you got me laughing. I think that it will serve them right.

Anonymous said...

I thought Michelle did great. Obama bowing to King Abdulah was akward at best. Apostate anyone? And none of his goals were met. Nice of NATO to send security guards for the election and all... but how about some soldiers? The reason even the blue dogs are bolting now is the incredible debt Obama has created in such a short time. The entitlement monatary shortfalls are looming in the near future and he just destroyed our credit rating. NICE JOB ASSHOLE!!!! szpork

GrannyStandingforTruth said...


For some reason and somehow, you just don't get it do you. Our credit rating was destroyed when Bush was President. President Obama didn't cause any of the problems we're having now, Bush and Republican Party did it. Bush messed up not only our credit rating, he did our economy, he destroy our credibility with other nations, he destroyed families, he destroyed peace in our nation, he caused us to be in a war that was illegal, unwarrented, and unjust. Oh, the list goes on and on, but my fingers get tired trying to type it all. Therefore, to make a long story short your boy BUSH did more damage than any other President or leader in the whole wide world has ever did in the lifetime of this good ole planet earth.


Black Diaspora said...

"The reason even the blue dogs are bolting now is the incredible debt Obama has created in such a short time. Szpork:

I see you have a lot of mad love for your ex-Commander-in-Chief, Bush, but it's love misplaced.

When President Obama's budgetary excesses reaches the level of Geo. Bush, then you can talk, until then read.

Start here:

"The Iraq adventure has seriously weakened the U.S. economy, whose woes now go far beyond loose mortgage lending. You can't spend $3 trillion -- yes, $3 trillion -- on a failed war abroad and not feel the pain at home."

And how about this:

"By the time you add in the costs hidden in the defense budget, the money we'll have to spend to help future veterans, and money to refurbish a military whose equipment and materiel have been greatly depleted, the total tab to the federal government will almost surely exceed $1.5 trillion."

You see, Obama's budget didn't attempt to hide the true cost of the war the way Ol' G.W.'s budget did, but reflected it in his budget, hence the size of it.

I thought transparency in government was a good thing.

Perhaps you'd like to keep it the way Ol' G.W. did things, obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate.

A little more about your boy, the fiscal conservative. I want you to have the full picture. No use doing this half-ass:

The Bush Legacy

"The Bush Administration had the worst fiscal record in American history.

"When President Bush was inaugurated in January 2001, he inherited from President Clinton, according to CBO, a budget surplus projected to be $5.6 trillion over the next 10 years.

"Over the last eight years, through fiscally reckless policies, President Bush squandered that surplus and gave the country eight years of large deficits instead.

"When President Obama was inaugurated last month, he inherited from President Bush, according to CBO, a deficit of $1.2trillion for FY 2009 alone and trillions more in deficits over the next 10 years. Under President Bush, the national debt almost doubled – rising from $5.7 trillion to $10.6 trillion."

And you call President Obama a ASSHOLE.

Don't you think you have your people mixed up?

Or will you allow party loyalty to continue to blind you, or your hatred for Obama to become your blinders?

If so, all I can say is: There's some loyal, Constitution loving, liberal hating, founding-father patriots out there just raring to take this country apart brick by brick and hoist a "Republican flag" over every state house in the nation, including the Capitol, and the White House.

I say join them! Let us really know where you stand.

Black Diaspora said...

"...he [Bush] destroy our credibility with other nations...

"BUSH did more damage than any other President or leader in the whole wide world has ever did in the lifetime of this good ole planet earth."

Right on, Granny!

President Obama had to go hat in hand to those other countries that Bush alienated, and beg them for additional NATO troops to fight the "real war," you know, the one in Afghanistan, not the one in Iraq.

And with Bush's failure to regulate executive greed in this country, leading to a world-wide economic meltdown, they're certainly not amenable to helping the U.S. with a "stimulus plan" of their own, or sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Why should they?

We're the malefactors here. We owe them. They owe us nothing!

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

It amazes me how some folks can't accept or see that President Obama is an exceptional politician who knows what he is doing and is working hard at trying to heal the divide within this nation and with other nations. He has been forthright and honest with us every step of the way. However, some folks have gotten so use to dirty politics and riff raff, until they can't see for looking. Maybe, they should let Bush and Cheney come back and finish the job. They seem to like wallowing in mud.

I don't know about you but I think that North Korean Leader is insane. However, I dunno why but I feel like he has a brain tumor. Brain tumors make folks act out of the norm and crazy. I couldn't help but wonder what affect that rocket that he launched in the Pacific is going to have on the fish and other marine life or if it was radioactive. I live on the West Coast and am not but a few blocks from the ocean. That's a little too close for comfort to me but I know that God is able and he is my protector.

Anonymous said...

Looks like North Korea is planning for long term security by arming itself with nuclear weapons. The leader of NK is a paranoid fool, and he doesn't trust the West or Japan. Given the history of Korea and Japan, I can't say I blame him. After the Bush/Cheney Admin., I'd be arming myself too.

Hopefully NK's attitude will soften with Obama in the White House.

Black Diaspora said...

"Hopefully NK's attitude will soften with Obama in the White House." Anon 6:49

That's my hope as well. But if Kim Jong-il is listening to the likes of Newt Gingrich, he may also come to distrust Obama.

I plan to blog about this soon.