“My home in the Arctic is fast disappearing and unless we all act urgently then I have to warn you of the possibility of an empty stocking forevermore. Please help me.”
Pope Francis is Time Magazine's Man of the Year for 2013.
Photo: Getty Images
President Obama set off a Twitter firestorm when he shook the hand of Cuban President Raul Castro at Tuesday’s memorial for Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Moments later Obama, in his eulogy for Mandela, offered up criticism of governments that embrace Mandela’s legacy of racial reconciliation but “passionately resist even modest reforms” to fight poverty and inequality, and that imprison people for their political beliefs.” All that was missing was a brief glance, a wink and a nod in Raul’s direction. The White House was quick to say the handshake was NOT a pre-planned encounter. The unsettling (to most) handshake overshadowed Obama’s next move, a hug of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff who has harshly opposed spying by the National Security Agency and criticized the U.S government.
This isn’t the firs time an Obama handshake has stirred controversy. In 2009, the president shook hands with the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez-who called the United States “the biggest menace to our planet” at the Summit of the America’s. Right wing bloggers and political pundits and talk show hosts also ripped Obama for a deep bow to Japan’s emperor Akihito back in 2009, accusing him of groveling to a foreign leader. Akihito’s dad ruled when Japan when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
Most interpretations of the decision to shake Castro’s hand attribute it to the “spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation” which was Mandela’s mantra. One tweet read “it only took Obama five years to reveal the fact he’s really a communist” while another read “there’s plenty to attack President Obama for-shaking hands with someone at a funeral’s not one” and still another read “It’s a funeral. You don’t refuse to shake anyone’s hand.”
President Obama doesn’t have a Florida campaign in his future…but his party does…and this visual will be dusted off when it comes to time campaign against the Democrats in 2016. This won’t play well in South Florida.
PHOTO- GETTY IMAGES
Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a "selfie" with Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt.
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES