President Obama and his wife Michelle attended the memorial services for Nelson Mandela today. The news media and the right-wing criticized President Obama for shaking the Cuban president’s hand primarily because Cuba has American hostages. If he hadn’t shaken hands, the same folks would have criticized that, and would have stated that he didn’t know how to be professional and lacked manners. The White House stated that it was a simple greeting. In the name of former President Nelson Mandela, how would that have looked to not extend his hand? Sometimes you can go further with humility. That doesn’t mean that you let people walk over you or don’t take a stand regarding your principles. There is a time and place for everything. Being at a memorial service for such a great man was not the time or place to make a scene over a handshake.
On the other hand, nor was it the time or place to snap a selfie with other Heads of States as President Obama and the British and Danish Prime Ministers did. I’m sure he knew that cameras were on him. I was disappointed to see that. The First Lady, Mrs. Obama, was right to switch seats with her husband. However, unfortunately, it did make our president look like a child being disciplined.