While the world has come to expect gaffes of great measure from Vice President Joe Biden, an onslaught of gaffes by President Barack Obama at the Nelson Mandela memorial service in South Africa was not expected. According to Yahoo! News on Tuesday, President Obama did several things which have turned heads and drawn criticism of the leader of the free world.
Most notably, President Obama found it necessary to shake hands with Cuban President Raul Castro as Obama approached the podium to speak to Mandela’s mourners at the soccer stadium where the event was held. Cuba and the United States have not had formal diplomatic relations for over 50 years. And, as Sen. John McCain asked, “Why should <Obama> shake hands with somebody who’s keeping Americans in prison?”
Beyond the handshake, there was the all-smiles selfie taken of President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
Then there was the seat-change in which the president and First Lady Michelle Obama – who remained stone-faced and non-participatory during the selfie incident. While it is uncertain as to who initiated the seat-change during the ceremony, it appeared that Mrs. Obama was not thrilled with her husband’s drawn-out and enjoyable conversation with Thorning-Schmidt.
To top it off, Obama gave Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff a kiss – perhaps to soften her recent anger at the United States for spying on her country? She recently condemned the U.S. for the spying. Or, maybe Obama just felt like kissing her.