Barack Obama | FOX News | Nelson Mandela | News | Raul Castro

Media Studies Interactions Between Obama and Raul Castro, Danish PM Helle Thorning Schmidt: VIDEO


Forget the stunning speech or the remembrance. Mandela's memorial provided ample opportunity to study Obama's interactions with world leaders, and the media, both social and traditional, are having a field day.

First, Obama shook hands with...a dictator! In honor of the Raul Castro moment, DailyKos has posted 10 photos of Republican presidents and VPs shaking hands with dictators.

The NYT wonders:

Was Mr. Obama trying to signal a new effort by the American government to reach an accommodation with Cuba 50 years after the Communist revolution that put Fidel Castro, Raúl’s brother, in power? Or was Mr. Obama simply trying to avoid delivering a diplomatic snub at a memorial dedicated to forgiveness?

The president’s aides would have known in advance which world leaders would be at the podium when the president approached for his own remarks. But White House officials declined to offer any explanation of the handshake or confirm that there had been a discussion about whether to offer one.

Still, Mr. Obama’s own remarks, delivered just moments afterward, offer tantalizing possibilities about what was going through the president’s mind when he approached Mr. Castro.

FOX News, of course, has its eyebrow arched over the exchange.


Meanwhile, another story is being weaved over a set of photos showing interactions between Obama and Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, while Michelle Obama looks on with an unamused stare.


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  1. Even in diplomatic circles, sometimes a handshake is just a handshake.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 10, 2013 1:21:16 PM

  2. Or Evidence that POTUS is indeed a Socialist, who plans flight to Denmark to evade criminal charges initiated by genuine Pariots Palin, Romney and Cruz!!

    Posted by: gregorybrown | Dec 10, 2013 1:28:05 PM

  3. Raul is not like his brother, he is trying to modernize Cuba, his daughter even received an award in the USA for her work in favour of gay rights.

    Raul is not more dictator than China or Russian¡s presidents and nobody bat an eye for a president shaking hands with Russian and China's presidents.
    The rest is just trying to read to much into a handshake

    Posted by: jjose712 | Dec 10, 2013 1:34:42 PM

  4. An alternative explanation for the Escape is that he and Michelle are distressed by being turned down for a 3some with Tom D.

    Posted by: gregorybrown | Dec 10, 2013 1:34:48 PM

  5. Michelle is not having it with that leggy blonde betch.

    Posted by: crispy | Dec 10, 2013 1:45:07 PM

  6. Ooh, lighten up, Michelle! ;-)

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | Dec 10, 2013 1:50:27 PM

  7. This was a funeral, right?

    Posted by: Trepakprince | Dec 10, 2013 1:58:44 PM

  8. No, it was a memorial service.

    But Crispy is right, Michelle is not having any of that.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Dec 10, 2013 2:02:50 PM


    Posted by: Tito | Dec 10, 2013 2:10:01 PM

  10. Chill out Michelle and remove the pole from your - - -

    Posted by: Elf | Dec 10, 2013 2:12:10 PM

  11. The three photos of Barack, Michelle and the Danish Prime Minister made me laugh so hard my co-workers had to ask if I was OK.

    Posted by: IJelly | Dec 10, 2013 2:13:53 PM

  12. And then it looks like she made the president switch seats with her! And does still taking a sneering look at the prime ministers screen. Hysterical!!!

    Posted by: Wisebear | Dec 10, 2013 2:14:13 PM

  13. MObama is like mugz in chief.... she throws the best side eye this side of Angela Bassett as Marie Laveau

    Posted by: MaddM@ | Dec 10, 2013 2:21:53 PM

  14. FOX News only function is to create controversy that is neither Fair or Balanced.

    Posted by: gb | Dec 10, 2013 2:29:21 PM

  15. FOX News only function is to create controversy that is neither Fair or Balanced.

    Posted by: gb | Dec 10, 2013 2:29:23 PM

  16. It's going to be a LONG silent flight home on Air Force One…

    Posted by: Rad | Dec 10, 2013 2:35:06 PM

  17. Raul is just as bad as his brother, but Cuba is a major ally of South Africa and the Castros were on very good terms with Mandela, so the handshake was probably done as a favor to the ANC and to show support to South Africa in general. It's also very rare that Cuban and American leaders are in the same room together.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 10, 2013 2:39:00 PM

  18. There's also a chance that Michelle was upset about the death of a world leader and close friend. I'm pretty sure that were Obama to stray, he'd likely not choose the PM of Denmark or make it so public.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 10, 2013 2:40:19 PM

  19. I love the evolution of pics and faces untill the last one xD!!! Michelle won may respects

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 10, 2013 2:42:09 PM

  20. I think it's look even worse if President Obama skipped over Castro while shaking hands with everyone ... one person mentioned that even through his memorial service, Mandela is bringing people together ... Fox News just loves to make noise.

    Posted by: Reality | Dec 10, 2013 2:55:17 PM

  21. LOL, I love these two (POTUS and FLOTUS). They're very human in their mannerism and how they interact which you can easily relate.

    Posted by: ny2.0 | Dec 10, 2013 2:55:18 PM

  22. FLOTUS is QUEEN at giving the side eye! Love her.

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 10, 2013 2:56:18 PM

  23. Barack's got some explainin' to do lol.

    And what the heck should Obama have done when he got to Castro, ignore him?

    Posted by: Bryan | Dec 10, 2013 3:15:44 PM

  24. I wonder, what Michelle said to her husband, when they were just two of them.
    I think the Danish PM should have thought before asking to take a picture.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Dec 10, 2013 4:20:32 PM

  25. It was a long flight to South Africa to spend a few hours on the ground and it's a long flight home. Lets see how you feel after doing all that traveling.
    Unless everyone is suddenly a mind reader, I don't see a problem.

    Posted by: Edd | Dec 10, 2013 5:43:06 PM

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