Author Topic: Michelle Obama handshake  (Read 4833 times)

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Hawkwatcher

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Re: Michelle Obama handshake
« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2010, 05:19:58 PM »
but even if they had briefed her when he made a move as if to shake her hand what is she to do?  It looks like he wants to shake hands, she has been told he doesn't shake hands with women, which way does she go?  If he is indeed trying to shake hands and she rebuffs him based on the advice of her staff that could cause a huge incident too.  I don't see how being briefed in this case would have done a ton of good.

Exactly.  If she had rebuffed him, he might have tweeted about "that arrogant American woman who snubbed me."  I don't think she could have done anything differently.

Fluffy Cat

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Re: Michelle Obama handshake
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2010, 05:38:12 PM »
Mrs. Obama has a STAFF of people who deal specifically with protocol issues.  Had they done their job she would never have extended her hand.  Or maybe she knew and didn't care.

The bolded seems like needless speculation to me.  I would agree with you and some PP's if it was a prevalent custom at play in the country.  It isn't.  Addressing some other PP's, it may not seem like a big deal for staff to brief Obama on not shaking this one man's hand, but we have now taken protocal to a detailed level that would necessarily include briefing the FL on the personal preferences of everyone she meets, not just hand shaking.  Should she be told that Diplomat X is rather sensitive about his height so it would be better if she wore flat shoes to any event he's at?  And also that Diplomat Z believes the color blue to be unlucky according to her tradition and it should be avoided?

Big issues with heads of state? Sure.  Widespread cultural traditions?  Sure.  Widespread religious traditions.  Yes again.  Personal preferences that do not meet any of those conditions for everyone she meets?  Not really reasonable in my book.
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