An article in the The Jerusalem Post speaks candidly about Obama's girl-like giddiness towards oppressive leaders like Chavez, Fidel, and the king of Saudi Arabia. The author, Shmuley Boteach, admits that while liking Obama, he is concerned about how far the President's friendliness towards freedom hating dictators will go. Obama is seen all over the news smiling at Chavez, bowing to the King of Saudia Arabia, and giving the Lincoln Memorial's mascot Cuddles to Castro.
Which Castro immediately shaved and put to work. True story.
But the article brings up a really good question, how oppressive does a leader have to be, to be unworthy of an Obama hug? So I asked the White House office on All Things Obama for an official answer to the question. Here is what they released.
The President does not and has never knowingly smiled at, bowed to, or given a Portugese Water dog to any world leader that oppresses or murders their own people. The President wants to make very clear the standard level of oppressiveness or murderousness a leader must possess to not merit a smile, bow, or puppy is as follows:
1. Leaders who said nice things about President Bush.
2. Any leader who questions the absolute science behind global warming.
3. Leaders with signed copies of Dutch, Blackhawk Down, or America: The Last Best Hope by Bill Benet.
4. Any leader of a country possessing a statue of Reagan is automatically off the hug list and is on probation for the half-smile head-nod list.
5. The former leader of Australia for suggesting we should not use our financial institutions to socially engineer our society. The President has never said so publically, but that really hurt his feelings.
6. Leaders who didn't get the President anything for his historic election to office. Poland, you know who you are.
7. Leaders of developing nations whose primary concern is feeding their people and steming the rapid transmission of AIDS to women and children, but fail to meet strict carbon offset standards. The President, although sympathetic, will not knowingly hug that leader.