This Wasn’t a Bow, Either

Embarrassing. And typical.

By Robert Wallace

America’s Right

Remember Obama’s infamous bow before the King of Saudi Arabia? A bow that the Obama administration insisted was not a bow (“It wasn’t a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he’s taller than King Abdullah,”) and yet which clearly was a bow?

Well, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, Team Obama is at it again. This time the recipient of our Commander in Chief’s obsequiousness was Emperor Akihito of Japan.

This encore performance is simply outrageous. No excuse whatsoever. As Ed Morrissey of HotAir put it (the emphasis is his):

American Presidents do not bow to royalty. In fact, heads of state do not bow or genuflect to each other in the normal course of diplomacy. At least, they didn’t until this amateur came into office and failed to learn from the first time he did it. What will the White House say this time? He got stomach cramps?

I don’t even know what angle of this fiasco to emphasize the most: amateur hour at the White House, disregard for America’s status in the world community, or extreme disconnect from fundamental American values.

Let’s start with the amateur hour. This is not how heads of state behave. Obama should have known this before he bowed to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. Even if he hadn’t figured it out before then, he most certainly should have figured it out afterward. His own staff had to lie and pretend that what happened didn’t happen. Which means they knew it shouldn’t have happened. Which makes you want to know: why did it happen again?

But this is more than just a breach of protocol. The protocol – like much formal protocol – exists for a reason. And the reason is symbolic. A head of state represents their nation, and so unless the message you want to convey is “Guess what, my nation is subservient to your nation” you don’t bow. This applies to all nations. So what does this say about Obama’s feelings towards America?

Then there’s the simple value of equality. If any nation on earth should be clear on this it is the United States of America. As Barack Obama may or may not remember, we once had a rather serious disagreement in this country about the role of kings. I seem to remember that there was even an armed conflict, leading to the separation of our nation from our erstwhile monarchy. And, following said separation, there was some discussion about whether or not we ought to have some new royalty of our own. The matter was settled rather conclusively with a resounding “no“. Royalty is incompatible with the fundamental principle of equality that lies at the heart of our (classically) liberal republic. It’s no small irony that America’s most collectivist president–like so many Marxists and socialists before him–is living out the principle that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others“.

I’m not sure how the White House is going to react, but I’m fairly certain the MSM will react by downplaying the incident if they cover it at all. “What’s the big deal? It’s just symbolism?” The big deal is what this tells us about our President. The man is:

A. incompetent in foreign affairs
B. ashamed of his nation
C. unable to grasp the ramifications of “all men are created equal”


D. all of the above

Take your pick, I suppose.

The silver lining to this national embarrassment is that at least we have another moment of clarity and insight into Obama’s character. The Saudi bow was not an exception. It was the rule. I know the conspiracy theorists on the right will see this incident as just an attempt to cover up some spooky Islamic cabal, but let’s apply Occam’s razor: Obama will bow to any and all royalty so long as they aren’t British. Why fabricate tin-foil hats when Obama is working so hard to prove the conservative case on his own?

Let us take this for what it is and continue the difficult job of slowly bringing the American people out of denial. They didn’t elect a centrist pragmatist with an eye towards change by rejecting imaginary failed policies of the past. They elected a left-wing novice with an eye towards change by embracing the true failed policies of the past.

Robert Wallace is classical liberal studying economics in graduate school. He and his wife work as business analysis consultants, and they live as undercover conservatives with their two small children in a socialist bastion of a college town. He has been writing for America’s Right since December 2008.



  1. Gail B says:

    Robert, as you pointed out, the bow to the Saudi king was a double-handed handshake as well.

    The bow to Japanese Emperor Akihito is complete with a single-handed greeting. (That's either his hangydowny that's escaped or part of his left hand.)

    Excellent point–"Obama will bow to any and all royalty so long as they aren't British." Wonder if his citizenship at birth has anything to do with that?!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This guy would bow to Pee Wee Herman.

  3. Anonymous says:

    He's just so used to bowing to Michelle its all Pavlovian.

  4. Dr. Oz says:

    Kenyan princes have an extra joint at L1-l2

  5. Dee says:

    Maybe he's trying to make himself the same height as the Emperor so the Emperor does not feel "short". It appears that the Emperor and his wife are actually smirking about the gesture.
    What a buffoon BO's followers elected. What an embarrassment to the USA.

  6. Anonymous says:

    all it takes for him to bow is communism, terrorists, or his Mao Tse Tung loving czars?

  7. Anonymous says:

    never bows to democratic republics just the socialists communist types.

    how this guy ended up in the oval office is puzzling. did soros change some numbers electronically for him? or was it all ACORN?

  8. Anonymous says:

    No, he didn't bow, he curtsied. (sic) LOL! Seriously, it is a disgrace for an American President to bow to anybody! I guess he hasn't learned that during his diplomatic charm classes when he signed on to be the President of the United States. I wonder what Queen Elizabeth thinks about this? A little off topic…., has anyone heard if the seniors are getting their raises since the $250 has been taken away from them for this coming year?


  9. Ian Thorpe says:

    It is not a question of his not knowing how to greet royalty. he knew the Queen of England was a Queen (not the sort he like to meet of course) but rather than bowing to her he groped her in a slightly pervy way.

    But let's get some perspective. It's obviously a hereditary condition with O. His DEear Old Mother could not keep her pants on around foreign guys and her son can't stay off his knees.

  10. Gail B says:

    UH–Obama/Soetoro has finally done something right! Think about it–

    This picture gives the United States something TO APOLOGIZE FOR: Barack Hussein Obama-Soetoro himself!

  11. Uncle Rick says:

    Nah. The real reason is that he already knows all he needs to know. If he doesn't already know it, it's not worth knowing. If your opinion is different, then you are wrong.

    Simple, isn't it?

    'Ya don't know what ya don't know, an' ya don't know ya didn't know it until ya know it.'

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is the picture that will cost him reelection. Americans hate subservience. In fact, I predict black people will defect from voting for Obama in droves because of this picture.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I believe he knows exactly what he is doing when bowing, but he does not care what our country thinks of him as he mocks protocol. I am waiting for the act of treason…and I think it may come to that, or maybe it already has been.
    If I had a vote, I would vote "Impeach Obama"…NOW!!! Our country is being destoyed and the world sees it happening. How much more of this foolishness do we have to take???

  14. Too Plain says:

    He did so "bow" to the Queen of England people. See:

    Albeit a “head-neck-shoulder” type of bow, it IS what it IS – a sign of subservience! He defiles every American.

  15. Bodenzee says:

    Next Barry will need knee pads. If he looks he might find an old set. You know, in that short hallway to his left if he'd ever sit at the Oval Office desk.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Jeff: Can the sitting President be impeached for his Cabinet, Czars and himself failing to follow the constitution???? Have any of their actions created "high crimes and misdemeanors" as defined by the Constitution?

  17. Anonymous says:

    BO – Forever bending for the soap!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Barack Hussein O'Buttocks Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmmmm!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Emperor Akihito we'd like to introduce you to His Royal Heinie-ness Barack Obama!

  20. Bodenzee says:

    Somebody's leader…setting an unwise precident.

  21. Rix says:

    The article – a good one, Robert, and very to the point! – posed a serious problem for me: I could not come up with any single comment that wouldn't be genuinely racist. Sorry, Jeff.

    We keep blaming ourselves for the gross mistake of enslaving Africans but Mr. Obama has not a single ancestor who was a slave on American soil! And as I look at the picture, I can't help but notice that even their "best and brightest", whom Obama is supposed to be, take to subservience as naturally as fish does to water.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Like a bag of feminine cleansing products. Set it down anywhere and it's all flimsy and bendy…..
    Que Dooshhhh…..


    This gesture is towards the journalists (lmao) and the cameras, as in 'kiss my arse'.

  24. Imaa SoBelle says:

    I started to pick "d" but thought better of it. I believe that he knows exactly what he is doing and is deliberately eviscerating America's position in the world by his showing subservience to the heads of state of other countries and "apologizing" to the world for our country's supposed crimes against humanity.

    This behavior is unprecidented. He certainly does not represent our country in an appropriate manner. His bowing "apologies" to the world demonstrate his disdain for the country he is supposed to represent, protect and defend. Never mind the Constitution. He has already tried to trash it.

  25. Hal says:

    He's merely demonstrating to the American people the position they should assume.

  26. Pat in NC says:

    A nod of the head is good enough for a Queen because she is a woman. Male leaders deserve the deep bow. Also, the UK does not appear to be able to buy our debt.

  27. goddessdivine says:

    Can't wait to hear the explanations (read: lies) the White House will spin on this one. How many times can they keep covering for his blunders and embarrassments?

  28. Boston Blackie says:

    When should we expect his exectutive order requiring the tipping of Old Glory during international events, you know it's coming.

  29. suek says:

    >>A nod of the head is good enough for a Queen because she is a woman>>


    >>Male leaders deserve the deep bow.>>

    That's the early years muslim training kicking in…

  30. Randy Wills says:

    "Obama will bow to any and all royalty so long as they are not British."

    The reason for this is that England, which actually served as the well-spring from which the United States sprang, is the closest friend and ally that his enemy – the United States – has. You know, the old saying, "an enemy of my enemy is my friend, and a friend of my enemy is my enemy." There is no country in the world so historically identified with the U.S. as Great Britain.

    As I continue to try to identify what it is at the very base of Obama's (and his handler's and cohort's) emnity for the U.S. and its constitution, it's becoming increasingly clear that it is viseral hatred for all that was derived from the minds of the "WASP's" who founded American democracy and incorporated their perspective in the Constitution.

    I believe his habitual indication of subservience to foreign leaders, save the British, is his way of telling the world that, under his leadership, the United States will no longer consider itself exceptional in any way, shape, or form.


  31. Anonymous says:

    What a frickin idiot.

  32. Anonymous says:

    It's a message to the rest of us – bendOver, here it comes.

  33. Anonymous says:

    He's just apologizing for Pearl Harbor and the Bataan Death March.

  34. Anonymous says:

    He bends down more than Monica Lewinsky.

  35. Anonymous says:


  36. Anonymous says:

    is it just me or does he seem to be overly anxious to bown to anything communist; anything enemy of the U.S; anything terrorist?

    i mean did he do this while in England?
    (kinda' takes one back to that photo of him in a dress?)

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