Friday, April 03, 2009

Charm Vs. Protocol

After the hubbub over Michelle Obama touching the Queen, I decided to see what other gaffes have been made. In our country the Obama's have huge approval ratings. They are bright, articulate and attractive. I like them both. That being said, they would be wise to get a protocol officer in place. Citizens of other countries, not to mention their leaders, may not be as inclined to take such breeches in stride. The Obama's might be viewed as arrogant or even disrespectful even if not so intended. Being a little more traditional in their gift giving might also be a good idea. DVDs that don't work on the British system really doesn't cut it.

I did a quick search to see what gaffes have been attributed to them. I found ten for Barack. Only eight seemed at all worth mentioning. The most arrogant, I think, was the presumptuous use of a Presidential Seal look-a-like during the campaign. Other than that they were all slips of the tongue that any one of us could make with no malice intended. Like the comment about his bowling being best suited for the Special Olympics or the Nancy Reagan seance comment.

Others were simply interpretations of what he said spun to suit the purpose on whoever was commenting. That goes for the misquote of Michelle's "proud of her country" statement too.

Actually, I'm quite pleased with the President and his spouse thus far. I listened to his post G-20 summit news conference and liked what he had to say and the way he said it. I'm going to criticize his actions when I feel they deserve it along with the actions of his appointees. It's my right as a citizen. I'll also praise when praise is due. That too is my right as a citizen.

In a world where many will be waiting for the charm to fade, however, I'm merely suggesting more attention to protocol will give less fuel for the fire.


Sansego said...

As for the fake presidential seal, I understood why they did it. It was not accidental. The whole point was to get Americans used to the idea of having a black president. It was a subliminal message thing. I don't believe it was arrogant or cocky at all.

Michelle's comment about being proud of being an American was much ado about nothing. In a country where African American men were lynched mere decades ago, where African Americans face racism and discrimination, why begrudge an African American lady expressing pride in an America that was voting in primaries for her husband?

The Bush years didn't give Americans much to be proud of. Hopefully the Obamas will hire a gift consultant because DVDs in the wrong format and iPods of his speeches to the Queen just doesn't cut it!

Margie's Musings said...

Good idea! George Bush made enough gaffes for all the presidents.

Betty said...

Actually, the Queen herself has said that there was no breech of protocol, since she is the one who started the hugging. So, there was no gaffe. When it comes to the American media, we have to dig deep to find out the truth of some of their stories. Disgusting, but true.

Dogwalkmusings said...

Or she was being gracious and not wanting to embarrass the first lady.

June Saville said...

When I saw the Queen and Mrs Obama together I was reminded of the dilemma of our Australian Prime Minister of the 1980s Paul Keating who dared to usher Her Majesty in a most gentlemanly way during a Royal occasion. There was a similar furore.
Protocol is important, but the fuss that's made over such a small, otherwise kindly gesture is staggering.

Morry Morgan said...

In a few years time Obama may be high-fiving King William. Then what? Hundreds of years of protocol thrown out of the royal window!