The President took time before his NATO summit to address a town hall in Strasbourg, France. His placeholder-filled extemporaneous speaking style, which conservatives love to mock, went over well with the crowd, perhaps because it reminded them of their professors (the town has about 45,000 students) or of Jimmy Stewart.
Obama told the cheerful crowd that he reformed America’s terrorist detention policies in part because “it’s never a good idea to humiliate people,” because it’s “a recruiting tool for terrorism,” and that while he regrets that as President he can no longer, when in Europe, “go to a cafe, have some wine and watch the sun set,” he still believes that “there is nothing nobler than public service,” in part because “if all you think about is how much money you make, how nice a house you can have… you get bored.”
Rightbloggers are mainly concerned with Obama’s observances of protocol among foreign leaders, which they find sinister. Having tired of ripping his meeting with Queen Elizabeth, they now profess outrage that Obama bowed in meeting King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. “Americans do not bow to royalty,” said Power Line, and struggled to distinguish this brief gesture as infinitely worse than the kissing and hand-holding to which President Bush used to treat his Arab “cousins.” So did TigerHawk: “No, it is not at all the same thing as George W. Bush holding King Abdullah’s hand. That’s an Arab deal denoting friendship, not subjugation.” “Just another protocal [sic] gaffe from the amature [sic],” said Macsmind. Michelle Malkin said she never even liked Bush being nice to Arabs. None of them, sadly, told us how if it was them, they would have beaten the King up or spit in his face, but maybe they’ll find time this weekend.