A story broke on September 25th about a soiree hosted by the Obamas for visiting VIPs during the UN meetings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is another goof in the White House office of protocol. As with most parties, pictures were taken by the White House photographers. However, unlike past Presidents, POTUS Obama’s White House has a flickr website page. And they seem to enjoy building upon the persona of “The One”. So the pictures were placed on the website with no approvals requested of the people in the pictures. Well, that’s where problems arise:
Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was in for a rude shock if he thought the same privacy conventions that shield the children of public figures in his home country would extend to the United States. Zapatero brought his wife and two daughters along on his trip to New York for the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly, and on Wednesday he and his family posed for a photograph with President Obama at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The photo caused a huge stir in Spain because the public had never before seen an image of its leader’s children, ages 13 and 16, who appeared in the photograph sporting slightly gothic attire.
Oops. Another White House Protocol blunder. Between the DVDs to the British PM, the ipod to the Queen of England, returning the bust of Churchill to England, and bowing to Saudi king, this White House is an embarrassment to the citizens of the USA when dealing with the leaders of foreign countries. (Next thing you know, we’ll give Iran a Twitter account for negotiating a nuclear arms agreement.)
A week later, members of the IOC are voting for the Olympics site for 2016. Spain, along with Japan and Brazil, is competing with the US. Unlike the White House, these people are sensitive to matters of protocol and respect for the privacy of others. So, when choosing between the US and Spain, US came in last. One must question whether this protocol goof by Obama had any impact on the voting. I submit it very well could have.