Originally Posted by BForbes
I'm not admitting anything. Find me the exact protocol document that says the POTUS is not suppose to bow before any other head of state....EVER. I can think of worse things Presidents have done. But we wont go there. Who creates protocol and what are the ramifications for breaking such? I'm of the impression that these things vary.
Obama respected the Emperor's culture. The Emperor returned the courtesy with a handshake. That is how I saw it. He obviously didnt execute the bow correctly to Japanese standards. President Obama has screwed up in the past and this isn't one of those times. He was trying to be respectful.
How about something from the NY Times
But the "thou need not bow" commandment from the State Department's protocol office maintained a constancy of more than 200 years. Administration officials scurried to insist that the eager-to-please President had not really done the unthinkable.
"It was not a bow-bow, if you know what I mean," said Ambassador Molly Raiser, the chief of protocol.
White House officials described Mr. Clinton's tilt as something of an improvisation.
Clinton's may not have been a bow-bow but Obama's sure was.