Barack Obama and crew evidently made quite an entrance on the Chinese stage in Hangzhou where the G20 is being held.
Not to sound like a great lover of the Sino-Globalsphere, but I have to smirk haughtily when I hear about things like this. You know…when normalizing pangs of reality filter “up” to the illustrious lives of our commoner elites.
Prince Barack, reduced to the role of common citizen contending with the drudgery of mundane, soul-devouring bureaucracy. Where else but China.
When Air Force One rolled to a stop, there was no staircase for Mr. Obama to disembark in view of the television cameras. Instead, he emerged from a rarely used door in the belly of the plane. It did not matter, since the reporters who normally cover the president’s movements were kept behind a rope under a wing, where they could not see him, prompting an angry exchange between a security official and White House aides.
When Susan E. Rice, the national security adviser, ducked under the rope, she was immediately stopped by a Chinese official, who heatedly challenged her. Asked later by a reporter what had happened, a diplomatic Ms. Rice said, “They did things that weren’t anticipated.”
That’s the problem with our politicians and cookie-cutter public officials. Everything they do, say, breathe, is “anticipated” and carved out beforehand.
The surprises continued at the West Lake State House, where Mr. Obama met President Xi Jinping. White House aides, protocol officers and Secret Service agents were stopped at a security checkpoint, according to a pool report. A shouting match, in Chinese, broke out over how many Americans should be allowed into the building before Mr. Obama’s arrival, and whether their names were on the proper lists.
As the words escalated, there were fears that a fight might erupt. “Calm down, please,” a White House official said. A Chinese Foreign Ministry official said, “Stop, please,” adding, “There are reporters there.”
“The president is arriving here in an hour,” a member of the White House staff said in frustration.
Oh heavens. Roll out the red carpet ASAP and make sure it’s vacuumed and unused.