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.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP…
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.
— Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) December 10, 2013