ABCNews: Obama’s Toast to Queen Turns Awkward
The president and the orchestra at Buckingham Palace this evening were a bit out of synch.
When the president toasted the Queen the orchestra misunderstood a pause and what seemed to be a cue from the president for “God Save the Queen” to begin playing.
“Ladies and gentlemen please stand with me and raise your glasses as I propose a toast,” the president said, putting down his note cards and grabbing his glass. “To her majesty the Queen.”
The president paused, the guests stood, and the orchestra prepared to play.
But the president wasn’t done speaking.
The awkwardness doesn’t quite come out in text — see the video HERE. I’m no expert on the monarchy or its customs, but in all honesty I’d say that the blame for this “gaffe” is shared between the Queen’s band and President Obama. Nevertheless, I find it hilarious … especially Obama’s sheepish “to the Queen…” at the end when everyone else picks up their glasses.
In the context of what happened earlier the same day–Barack Obama signed the guest book at Westminster Abbey and curiously dated his visit “2008″–it’s pretty clear that the president is not having a good week.
That being said, it really shouldn’t matter. If someone followed me around with a microphone every day, they’d catch more than their fair share of gaffes. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t care that a campaign-weary senator said during his umpteenth interview that he visited 57 states, just as I don’t care that an embattled Barack Obama has trouble letting go of 2008, or that he picked up a glass too early and rumpled the feathers of the British Crown. What I care about is when the American president tells a sovereign nation–and steadfast ally, no less–what they can and cannot do with their borders. What I care about is the message being sent by this president to organized labor through the actions of the executive-appointed National Labor Relations Board.
In the meantime, though, I’m certainly not against a laugh at the president’s expense. It’s fairly obvious how these two overseas gaffes would be handled by the American press had they been made by George W. Bush.