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Guys! Quick! Hubby Obama needs some help 'splaining that photo

July 10, 2009 |  3:20 pm
Democrat president Barack Obama and French president Nicolas Sarkozy appear to look at another woman's backside at the G-8 summit

(UPDATE: Oops. Now another peekaboo pic has shown up. Different woman. Same angle. Same two guys. Over here.)

OK, let's help the poor guy out here. It's a bipartisan gender solidarity thing.

Yes, yes, he's president of the United States of America. The most powerful male in the free world, perhaps le monde entier. Pretty wife. Great abs. Loving father. And a real good talker.

He better be 'cause, as they fly down to Africa right now, Mrs. Obama with the buff bare arms may be asking her hubby one or two questions about this photo that's been flying all over the world ahead of them for a day now. Just as Desi Arnaz would ask his wife in the old "Lucy" show.

On the surface it might possibly appear to some jealous people that the 47-year-old ex-senator from Illinois is eyeing the working backside of Mayara Rodriguez Tavares, a 17-year-old youth delegate from Buenos Aires, no, wait, Brazil at the G-8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy. (And President Nicolas Sarkozy is checking it out too. But he's French.)

Such a suspicion about the nation's male chief executive is absolutely ridiculous, of course, and relies on the tired, old -- and patently erroneous -- sexist cliche about men having a roving eye for the opposite sex, even when they may already be in the company of a member of same said opposite gender.

There have, over the eons, been billions of misunderstandings like this between women and their men when the female followed the man's eyes and perceived them to be glued on some portion of another female's anatomy, back or front. It even happened in cave days when folks wore skimpy animal pelts. That's an Internet fact.

Those patently mistaken female impressions of visual infidelity have led to some verbal outbursts, punched arms, swung purses and long silences in the car followed by a night on the living room couch.

If the offended women would only wait one sec, they could learn the real honest-to-God object of their male's admiration. Most often, the male doesn't even know what other woman his lady is talking about. He was simply admiring a really attractive red sports car that was passing in the same spot but is now unfortunately out of sight.

The car one won't work this time. But there are other obfuscating explanations. Maybe the president had a speck in his eye -- it can happen to presidents anytime even with the Secret Service around -- and was looking down to try and get it out. Could be.

Also, as Ticket reader Tom points out, she does have great shoes.

The most innocent excuse or explanation is that the president was in the process of turning his head to thoughtfully take the hand of his life partner and help her safely down the last large step there so she wouldn't trip and embarrass herself with all the cameras around. What a guy! Chivalry lives!

And those European cameramen -- you know them -- cleverly snapped the photo to make it appear like he was looking at the long curly, brown hair and the female derriere in shiny red material that he hadn't even actually noticed was there. In fact, was there a woman there?

It's all perfectly innocent. So help him out, guys -- or gals. What other explanation can we helpfully offer the first man?

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photos of other male presidential encounters with derrieres below.

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President George W. Bush and Misty May-Treanor at Beijing Olympics 2008
Here, last summer at the Beijing Olympics President Bush passes up an offer by Olympic volleyballer Misty May-Treanor to slap her butt and wisely chooses instead to brush her back, as chronicled for history here. French President Nikolas Sarkozy pats his wife's derriere as they meet American president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle
In this photo earlier this year President Sarkozy of France and his wife, Carla Bruni, greet the Obamas in France, as chronicled here on The Ticket.

Photo credits: Photo: Maurizio Bambatti / EPA (top); Gerald Herbert / Associated Press (Bush); Pool (Sarkozy and wife).