U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he poses for a picture alongside U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, second right, Senegalese President Macky Sall, right, and Senegalese First Lady Mariame Faye Sall at the presidential palace in Dakar, Senegal, Thursday, June 27, 2013. President Obama arrived in Senegal Wednesday night to kick off a weeklong trip to Africa, a three-country visit aimed at overcoming disappointment on the continent over the first black U.S. president’s lack of personal engagement during his first term. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) [source]
Obama has done this before.
Once again, I don’t believe that Obama was deliberately trying to be rude to his host country or to the First Lady of Senegal. Instead, Obama was behaving as though he were the sole important person in the room, oblivious to the fact that someone else was standing right next to him.
This is very childish behavior. Most of us have learned from early childhood how to behave when posing for a group photograph: we look at the camera, we smile, we don’t move, and we don’t block the visibility of anyone else. Anybody older than a baby should know better than to wave his arms around when waiting for a photograph to be taken. And it is always rude in every part of the world to put your hand directly in front of another person’s face.
There is some interesting body language in the rest of the photo. The First Lady of Senegal was posing politely and smiling while waiting for the photo to be taken, but the First Lady of the United States was not. Instead, she appeared to be talking to, or staring at, the President of Senegal – and with an unpleasant expression on her face.