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.