Obama: Makin' Friends! UPDATED

Obama wags his finger in the face of Canadian PM Harper

When people wag a finger in my face, I reach out and cover their hand and say some variation of “don’t say another word to me until you put that finger away.” The variations are not always courtly, but they get the point across.

Awful picture. Awful optics. But I get the impression that Obama and his crew think these sorts of pictures make him look good. He’s sticking it to the man, or something.

The look on Harper’s face, I can’t read. He’s either cowed or repressing his own anger. He appears to be looking directly at Obama’s finger. He is making a fist. Anyone want to supply a caption?

I miss the swaggering cowboy. He may have been tongue-tied; he may have screwed up with an errant backrub, but he didn’t bow to royalty, he didn’t give embarrassing gifts to allies, he didn’t show the Dalai Lama the back door. He never said to a visiting ally (paraphrased) “I’m gonna go have dinner with Laura, and if you decide to obey me, I’ll be around.”

He didn’t shove his finger in the face of another country’s prime minister.

But he was considered the boor.

From JasperJava, in the comments section, an amusing quicktime video of Obama’s meet-and-greets at the summit. You can see Harper at about 47 seconds in, and things look more genial.

It is, of course, difficult to gauge a shutterclick, and we probably shouldn’t build on passing instants, after all.

WELCOME: Instapundit readers, Hot Air readers, Ace and Cornerites, and thanks Glenn, Allah, Gabriel and Mark, for the links!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • jasperjava

    Here’s the video (albeit in fast motion. Harper appears at about 0:47.

    They look genial and relaxed. You can’t make a generalization based on a snapshot. In 2008 there was an awful photo of John McCain that made him look like a grotesque gargoyle. When you looked at the video, it wasn’t nearly so bad.

  • http://submandave.blogspot.com submandave

    When people are moving, a single still capturing 1/10 of a second can be wildly misleading.

    As predisposed as I am to fault Pres. Obama (and that is an instict I pointedly try to overcome), I have to agree with cathyf on this. Yes, it does look like the President is lecturing to and dressing down the PM, and, yes, based upon past action I’d instictively tend to believe this is exactly what the camera captured, but this sort of shot is tailor-made for illusions caused by forced perception.

    The motion picture industry has used FP for years to make things look like what they are not. A perfect example was in The Lord of the Rings, when, by simply placing one actor closer to the camera and one further away, the director created the illusion of a normal human talking with a hobbit. Perhaps Pres. Obama is pointing and talking about something to the side of the PM, but the angle of the photo makes it look like he is pointing at the PM.

    A agree this doen not look good, but I also agree that there are plenty of substansive policy matters on which to fault Pres. Obama without harping on everything he does. While this may be important from the continuing perspective of alienating our traditional allies, I’d just like to offer a caution. The more those of of opposed to Pres. Obama’s political and legislative agenda go on about how he puts his shoes on the wrong way, the more easilly our legitimate criticisms can be dismissed as “based on racism” or mere party contrarianism.

  • http://submandave.blogspot.com submandave

    Sorry, that should have read “forced perspective.”

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Gapseed, I’ve seen the Netanyahu finger-jab photo too, and find it appalling. Obama should really cut that stuff out. He also needs to stop the bowing, too. He’s degrading the presidency, by both actions.

    And, JulieB, yes, it’s worrisome that this is what the White House thinks makes a great official photo—again, I guess, we’re supposed to applaud Obama’s supposedly “Sticking it to the man!” Or something. But if that’s their attitude, it’s disturbing.

    (As for me, I miss Reagon.)

  • Isaiahch53v6

    Here’s my caption: “Hmmm, I wonder if he’ll go away if I throw up on his shiny new shoes.”

  • Doc

    The Russian president simply appreciates the fact that the USA is currently run by a sniveling little worm who regrets that he has been unable to unravel the military power that has been entrusted to him as Commander in Chief.

    I want to grab Obama voters by the shoulders and shake them, asking, “What were you thinking, what were you thinking?”

    (I could also see an Airplane-like line forming behind me)

  • RayJ

    “Some people take stock of themselves and confront their weaknesses. Your swaggering cowboy, bailed out of every one of his failures by Daddy and his friends, has spent his entire life oblivious of his excuses, his rationalizations, and his responsibility for what he is.”

    Project much?

  • aelfheld

    Chiding allies and fawning over enemies. This isn’t foreign policy, this is petulance on a global scale.

  • Maureen

    As a Canadian, I’m not worried about Harper – Harper is a strong, forceful leader who is in control. He can play nice when he wants to, but his mission is to slowly turn back all the left-wing socialist programs that were inflicted on Canada by previous Liberal governments. And as others have noted, Canada is a resource wealthy country – Obama can go on and on about dirty oil, but at the end of the day, the US will need our oil sands because we are a reliable source from a stable country.

  • http://www.sadlyno.com D. Aristophanes

    When I look at this picture I see a cascading torrent of the Rev. Wright-inspired hate that infuses Obama’s every molecule being channeled into the single finger that he is pointing at the obviously appalled Canadian PM … the finger is a weapon to the One, a psychic wand, if you will, that he is using here to focus all of his enormous jealousy and contempt for competent leadership and principled morality at the nearby representative of same in the person of Stephen Harper.

    Liberals may kvetch, but I don’t think it’s possible to read too much from this single image taken out of context and possibly skewed as a viewable artifact of a moment in time due to tricks of perspective.

    In short, Obama’s entire life history, the very nature of his immutable, grossly misshapen essence, is fully on display in this one snapshot. All of it — his roiling pathologies … his deep desire to undermine all that is good … his self-loathing … his infantile intellect … his rage-filled frustration at being confronted with successful lives he can never emulate. All of those things are on display, focused narrowly into that single pointing finger … a Finger of Hate, you might say … a Digit of Despair and Treason …

    I think I am not succumbing to hyperbole when I predict that future generations of Americans will point to this one photo and say, ‘This is where it all went wrong … this is the moment that America fell.’

    [You sound nuts to me. Or, like a leftwing sort trying to sound like their approximation of a right-winger. Will you be attending a tea party tomorrow wearing a racist tee shirt? ;-) -admin]

  • Statweasel

    As far as Canadians being anti-American during early Bush I & II: yeah, there was a bunch of that especially from the Liberal government led by Chretien. There were any number of ill-considered comments and quite rude outbursts from elected Canadian officials. And it was embarrassing for any number of us Canucks who felt – both then and now – that it was beneath the dignity of our country and undeserved. There are many, many Canadians who felt and feel that the US has been a wonderful ally to have.

    The fact that Harper is now in power here – a Conservative pro-US leader of long-standing – and is the now the one getting snubbed and diminished by the One, is a sad and undeserved slight to him personally and to all Canadians IMO. Obama is a petty buffoon and is surrounded by a bunch of cheering jackinapes. November can’t come soon enough.

  • Pingback: Today’s Compare and Contrast « Nice Deb

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Mr. “Wonderful”, Bush isn’t president anymore. Obama is. The buck stops with him, now.

    (I still miss Reagan, myself!)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Doc, I’m afraid a lot of Obama voters were thinking stuff like “Hope ‘n Change.” They didn’t take the time to actually take a long, hard look at the guy. Or, if they did, they hoped that it would just work out somehow.

    Hope ‘n change (sigh).

  • dave™©

    “I want to grab Obama voters by the shoulders and shake them, asking, ‘What were you thinking, what were you thinking?’”

    We all hoped Obama would send the black helicopters to drag morons like you to Gitmo. Yes, we were disappointed…

  • Pingback: Constrasting pictures: Obama bows to despot; points finger at our friend « Sharp Right Turn

  • http://Canada'sOlympics Barb

    Canada gave out booklets prior to hosting the Olympics, showing proper etiquette.
    One of the itemes listed was how to show someone what direction to go, WITHOUT POINTING, since pointing was considered rude.

    Maybe Canada, should send The One, a copy.

  • Bartleby

    I’m fairly sure that you’re very stupid. No, make that very sure.

  • http://westernchauvinist.blogspot.com Western Chauvinist

    RS and Doc

    Yes, he has degraded the presidency, but what I have found most disturbing, from the beginning, is his actions intending to diminish the country. The apology tour was all about destroying the moral authority of America (as some are now trying to do to the Pope and the Church). His smiling face pictured behind the sole of his shoes atop the president’s desk in the Oval Office just makes me gag.

    I don’t remember who said it (Mark Steyn?), but he seems to see his “historic” role as “managing the decline” of America. I think he is drastically accelerating the decline, but that’s just my opinion.

    Went to an “Audience with an Astronaut” recently with my 6th grader. Had to fight depression the whole time as I listened and watched those fresh young American faces, knowing we’re coming up on the country’s last shuttle mission and this president’s policies are putting us into a death spiral. We not only won’t be “reaching for the stars” under this guy, we’ll be lucky to avoid total collapse.

    We just finished Acts in our Bible study yesterday. I understand that Paul’s suffering and persecution were necessary for the spread of the Gospel. I believe God has a plan and I’m willing to trust him, but I can’t help worrying and, frankly, mourning for our young people. The world will be a crueler place when America is diminished.

  • sue

    the picture is so obviously photo shopped. how desperate are you?? do something useful with your time like donate to a food pantry…oh, right, I forgot, the hungry and the homeless are responsible for their own plight, right?

    [I've helped out in my local food pantry, with youth groups and in the local "soup kitchen" and at the local hospital. Are stereotypes all you know? That's just sad. -admin]

  • Michael

    CAPTION: “This photograph will be tsk-tsk’d by paranoid wingnut with delusions of omniscience”

    ALTERNATIVE CAPTION: “So I said, ‘Hey Anchoress, Pull My Finger!’”

  • YoYoMa

    This is rich: “Didn’t anyone ever teach him that it’s rude to point? We don’t do that in America. And we don’t bow either.” [Jeff #3]

    Yes, in America, we don’t bow. But, in other countries they have customs and culture which, as a visiting dignitary, are honored out of respect. Your lack of understand in foreign culture doesn’t surprise me — Jeff is paraphrasing Mark Levin.

    [On that note, we'll close comments; conversation has run its course, and I can't sit here all day moderating for foul language and slander -admin]