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Not ready to lead

During the past presidential campaign, Republicans used the tag line of "Not ready to lead" as a heavy criticism of Obama. This characteristic was once again on display during Obama's recent visit to Japan. The LA Times has some commentary about this scene where Obama meets Japanese Emperor Akihito.

obamaakihito.jpg

As one can imagine the symbolic, deep bow will play very well with traditional Japanese society. But what does it say about our president?

I'm actually not as concerned with the bow itself but how it helps to paint a picture of Obama's views about America and about himself. Here are some comments Obama made during his visit. Once again he feels the need to apologize for Bush.

In a slap at President George W. Bush, Obama spoke of the importance of "multilateral organizations [that] can advance the security and prosperity of this region."

"I know that the United States has been disengaged from these organizations in recent years. So let me be clear: those days have passed," Obama said during the first major address of a four-country Far East swing, which will continue from Japan to Singapore, China and South Korea. "As an Asia Pacific nation, the United States expects to be involved in the discussions that shape the future of this region, and to participate fully in appropriate organizations as they are established and evolve," Obama said.

He goes on to declare himself the first Pacific President and that naturally he would be the one to redeem the United States. I find this whole attitude deeply disturbing. I understand that some people feel embarrassed about President Bush. While I feel these people are reacting emotionally and not rationally, it is within their rights to have such a reaction. But such people should not be President of the United States. By primary definition, the president should be someone who is patriotic, who respects America and indeed all Americans. Obama was not elected leader of the world in some quixotic vision of an earth with no nations.

Over at Powerline, John notes the same comments and concludes:

Ashamed of his country but arrogant about himself--what a disgusting combination.
I couldn't agree more.

Update:
Ed Morrissey notes that in 1994 the New York Times took Clinton to task for almost bowing to Akihito.
Canadians still bow to England's Queen; so do Australians. Americans shake hands. If not to stand eye-to-eye with royalty, what else were 1776 and all that about?
Do you think the NYT will comment on Obama now? No need to answer...

Update 2: For those in the comments that think that it is appropriate for the president to bow to another foreign leader, consider the symbolism. I can think of no better example than this iconic scene from Superman II.

Watch this and consider the quote "You are not the president. No one who leads so many could possibly kneel so quickly." Fiction? Yes. But the symbolism is the same.


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Comments (28)

Did Emperor Akihito return ... (Below threshold)
Mr. Illinois:

Did Emperor Akihito return the bow? If so, it's a positive display of mutual respect. If not, it's a disturbing show of one-sided deference inappropriate for our President in the face of a foreign leader.

I'd have said in the face of "a peer" rather than "a foreign leader", but the President of the United State of America has few, if any, peers.

Please, please, PLEASE tell us that this time the foreign official our nation's leader bowed to returned the courtesy and respect. Bowing is a common gesture in the Japanese culture, and one the Emperor should have initiated or returned without hesitation.

So.... can someone please help clarify: did Emperor Akihito also bow? I sincerely hope he did.

The greatest Leader of all ... (Below threshold)
Angellight:

The greatest Leader of all is one who is not afraid to serve and humble themselves and wash the feet of another.

The Emperor did not return ... (Below threshold)
UncleZeb:

The Emperor did not return the bow.

"The greatest Leader of all... (Below threshold)
JB:

"The greatest Leader of all is one who is not afraid to serve and humble themselves and wash the feet of another."

The greatest lefty troll is one who STFU.

"Humble" does not strike me... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Humble" does not strike me as a word that Barry uses to describe himself.

2012 cannot come soon enough.

When abroad, the president ... (Below threshold)

When abroad, the president IS the United States.

The United States just demonstrated subservience to an unelected, hereditary monarch.

As noted... this is NOT something the first Americans would approve of. Indeed, many of them died to avoid it.

J.

Ed Morrissey notes that ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Ed Morrissey notes that in 1994 the New York Times took Clinton to task for almost bowing to Akihito.

That was then. Now, we've apparently got to grovel to the rest of the world.

Bowing is a sign of respect... (Below threshold)
James H:

Bowing is a sign of respect, yes, but there are ways to incline without being obsequious. I keep thinking that a simple incline of the neck or half-bow would be sufficient...

"I find this whole attitude... (Below threshold)

"I find this whole attitude deeply disturbing. I understand that some people feel embarrassed about President Bush. While I feel these people are reacting emotionally and not rationally, it is within their rights to have such a reaction. But such people should not be President of the United States. By primary definition, the president should be someone who is patriotic, who respects America and indeed all Americans. Obama was not elected leader of the world in some quixotic vision of an earth with no nations."

Very well said.

An inexperienced empty suit... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

An inexperienced empty suit has proven he is just that again. ww

[Edit: Removed reference to... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

[Edit: Removed reference to deleted comment. DK.] The symbol of an American President bowing to some foreign leader is not the symbol I want my tax dollars paying for. What ever happened to that Greek temple background for Obama. He is just a college campus punk who go elected to a job he has no clue how to do.

You dis the President of th... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

You dis the President of the United States while worshiping Superman, and then you react to a comment criticizing you for acting immature by deleting the comment.

How old are you?

Vic

I deleted your comment for ... (Below threshold)
Dan Karipides:

I deleted your comment for language. While commenting on one of my posts I require that you be respectful. The normal content of your posts does enough damage to your reputation that believe me I would like to keep them around. But please keep the tone appropriate from now on.

I am very sorry I voted for... (Below threshold)
Evil Incarnate:

I am very sorry I voted for this man. I will tell my kids to ensure that they never vote for a sissy again!

What an arrogant and immature leader!

Go to hell obama!

Bowing is a sign of resp... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Bowing is a sign of respect, yes, but there are ways to incline without being obsequious. I keep thinking that a simple incline of the neck or half-bow would be sufficient...

It's good enough for the Queen of England.

You dis the President of... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

You dis the President of the United States while worshiping Superman, and then you react to a comment criticizing you for acting immature by deleting the comment.

Go back and read the article again.

How old are you?

Vic

Older than you, apparently. Want some more cheese with your whine?

It is telling that the loon... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

It is telling that the looney left made such a deal about Bush holding the Saudi's kings hand, which is custom, now want us to refrain from criticizing "The One" when he does what is custom. Double standard? Hypicritical? Yes and yes. ww

He was "Never ready to lead... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

He was "Never ready to lead" as there isn't a shred of leadership ability in his portfolio.

He clearly demonstrates this ever time he goes abroad.

Obama is quite used to rece... (Below threshold)
grizzlybare:

Obama is quite used to receiving the bows of the American media. So, when he travels abroad,
he bestows the blessings of his narcissism
to other world leaders. You see, he and they,
are Colossi on the world stage, at this moment
of history, each unique and irreplaceable.
In his mind, his bi-racial genetics allow
him to mock the "whiteness" of our country.
He, and his Reverend of 20 years have upset
the apple-cart. Of course he will hang off
the carousel to catch the gold ring. HE
DESERVES IT!.........and America be damned!

Obama is (in his own mind),... (Below threshold)
grizzlybare:

Obama is (in his own mind), accepting the
award for Leader of the Non-White world.
Lemme tell ya, he's got a very big, and
very angry audience. With help from our
media, this guy could break the glass
ceiling........Satrap of the Universe.

Have the Obamas settled on ... (Below threshold)
grizzlybare:

Have the Obamas settled on a Christian church
to attend? Didn't think so. Not that I personally care, but he DID say they were
"looking". Any MSM follow-up? I'm sure that's
the LAST question they want to bother him with,
all the current travails with Hasan in the
news, Holder giving away the candy store to
the ACLU......somehow, we just can't nail
this slippery guy down. "Slippery" is the
operative word.

The little man bows to king... (Below threshold)
RScott:

The little man bows to kings.

Barack Obama: America's fir... (Below threshold)
ahem:

Barack Obama: America's first female president!

Ready to bow and submit to ... (Below threshold)
914:

Ready to bow and submit to the world from day one!

SuperWimp.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha - Now you... (Below threshold)
Jake McKee:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha - Now you're stooping to comparing world politics to Superman. Genius at work.

To poster 1"So....... (Below threshold)
retired military:

To poster 1

"So.... can someone please help clarify: did Emperor Akihito also bow? I sincerely hope he did."

Did King Faud also bow?

I dont seem to recall your statement above applying to that.

"Ed Morrissey notes that in... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"Ed Morrissey notes that in 1994 the New York Times took Clinton to task for almost bowing to Akihito."

I hate to say this

Can we have Clinton back please?

At least, as Mr. Miyagi say... (Below threshold)
Rando:

At least, as Mr. Miyagi says:

Look eye! Always look eye!




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