Did President Obama bow to Saudi King?

2 04 2009

Hot Air does not say he did, but you have to watch the video for yourself.  First, here are the Obama’s being received by HM The Queen – she seems to get a very slight head nod.  Appropriate from one head of state to another, surely.

Now check out the greeting King Abdullah receives.  It repeats the central moment  several times.

It is such a deep bow it  just can’t be what it looks like on the surface.  If Her Majesty only got the Presidential nod, I can’t imagine Obama would make such a different reverence to King Abdullah.

More to follow on this I’m sure.


Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I’m shocked at the lack of coverage this is receiving.  Let’s be clear – I think everyone SHOULD bow before royalty, so that’s not my issue.  My issue is why HM The Queen received such different treatment.  Perhaps the President knew that The Queen has ordered (confirmed yesterday by Palace officials) that strict protocol around her be reduced, especially with foreign dignitaries, and wanted to honour that. We now know the infamous Michelle Obama hugging The Queen incident was actually the other way around – The Queen reached out to FLOTUS, not vice versa.   Knowing the Saudi King had not issued such orders, he felt it suitable to show the appropriate level of respect to a reigning monarch.  Perhaps we’ll never know, but this image (a clearer shot than the video) seems to confirm POTUS wasn’t just stooping to pick up a dime.


Anderson Cooper’s page on CNN.com has this from thier international correspondent Richard Quest:

Richard Quest
CNN International Correspondent

Did he or did she? Bow to the Queen that is!

Americans are often in a dither about whether or not they should give the traditional stiff bow from the neck, or a curtsy for women. It goes against the republican grain to make such a sign of respect to a monarch!

Of course there is absolutely no obligation for ANYONE — not even Brits these days — to bow to the Queen. It is not requested nor required. That was changed years ago.

When I met the Queen some years back, no one said a word about having to do it. But I did since I am a British national.

When President and Mrs. Obama met the Queen tonight, there was a handshake, and both the President and the Queen both nodded respectfully to each other.

Was it a bow? Not quite. It was more of a, “I know you are a head of state and so am I. We are both heads of state together and this is what heads of state do when they meet other heads of state.” In other words they bow to each other without actually bowing.

However, Tim Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary was much more upfront about showing his respect to Her Majesty. A handshake and a firm nod of the head. No doubt about it. A sign of respect to one of the world’s most respected heads of state.

This level of analysis is put into  The Queen’s head nod, but nothing about the deep bow to King Abdullah?  Interesting that there are only 5 comments on the report and for some unknown reason “comments have been closed for this article”.  Might that be because folks were trying to point the bow out?  Why else would CNN shut it down after only 5 comments.

I hate conspiracy theories and I just don’t want to believe the mainstream press is ignoring this out of some need to “protect” the President.  If they were ignoring both greetings that would be fine, but to focus on the greeting The Queen received, but not even mention the King Abdullah one (which is clearly the bigger story) takes some mental acrobatics in order to reconcile.


CNN and the White House press corps have covered it now.  Not in the “news” fashion you’d expect, but perhaps that’s wise as we really don’t know what the motive was.  Watch the CNN clip here:





2 responses

3 04 2009

ridiculous and petty? NO ..I repeat NO U.S. President has or should bow to any foriegn leader PERIOD. In the muslim world,it is even more dangerous…his bow showed weakness to an Arab leader. The Arab mentality despises weakness and respects strength… they may already despise us…now they think we are weak…and that is a dangerous thing.

2 04 2009

That’s such a ridiculous and petty thing to pick up on.

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