Wow! No bow this trip; Obama greets India's president straight up
Two days into his visit to India, President Obama received an almost royal official welcome Monday in New Delhi.
As horses led his limo down a clay path at the presidential palace, Obama received a 21-gun salute, then reviewed troops and greeted India's diminutive president, Pratibha Patil, (above) with a double handshake.
None of the low bows that the American leader proffered to other foreign dignitaries during previous Asian trips and meetings. See the photo below and this story: How low will he go? Obama gives Japan's Emperor a wow bow Those bows prompted criticism back home that as the United States' new leader eager to make friends, Obama was too obsessed with obsequiousness.
Not this time.
The president is scheduled to travel next to Indonesia on Tuesday, although.,...
Here are the president's brief New Delhi welcome remarks with one of the longest sentences of his administration:
First of all, I want to thank all the people of India for the extraordinary hospitality and welcome that Michelle and I and my delegation have already received.
And we took this trip with the intention of strengthening what is already an incredible friendship between the United States and India. As I’ve said earlier during my visit, I believe that the partnership between the United States and India will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. We are the two largest democracies in the world. We share extraordinary people-to-people contacts. Most importantly, we share a core set of values.
And my hope is that during the course of these discussions between myself and the Prime Minister, myself and the President, and other members of the Indian delegation, that we will be able to continue to build on the commercial ties that we already have to strengthen our cooperation in our bilateral relations in the international economy; that we'll be able to focus on issues like counterterrorism in order to assure that both the United States and India are secure well into the future; that we can build on the people-to-people ties that are in part grounded in the millions of Indian-Americans who contribute so much to our country and help give us an appreciation of Indian life; and that, given that India is not simply an emerging power but now is a world power, that the United States and India will be able to work together to promote the international principles, the rules of interaction between nations that can promote peace and stability and prosperity not only for our two nations but for the world as a whole.
So, to all the people of India, Michelle and I express our extraordinary thanks for the wonderful hospitality that we've received, and also we want to send our warmest regards from the people of the United States to all the people of India. Thank you so much. ####
In other foreign news, MSNBC said late Sunday that suspended commentator Keith Olbermann's suspension would be suspended starting with his program Tuesday night. That just happens to be one night after Conan O'Brien resumes his TV career on TBS.
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photos: Raveendrana / AFP / Getty Images (Obama meets India President Pratibha Patil); Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty (Obama greets Japan's Emperor Akihito 11-09).