Obama’s ‘very usual’ welcome for Saudi Arabia’s King to White House causes a buzz

When Saudi Arabia’s King Salman visited the White House on Friday, President Barack Obama did something that at least one news reporter characterized as “very unusual.”

No, he did not bow again. After all, there’d be nothing unusual in that for Obama. But CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller took to social media to say the president appeared at the West Wing portico to personally welcome Salman:

When asked by Yahoo! News White House correspondent Olivier Knox whether that was rare, Knoller replied that it was “very rare,” saying he could not recall another time Obama had extended such a courtesy

Obama’s behavior Friday was a far cry from how the Dali Lama was treated when visiting the White House in 2010, when the spiritual leader of Tibet was forced to exit through the back door and walk past bags of garbage.

It also differed from how he treated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that same year.

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Not only did Obama not pose for a photograph with Netanyahu — a regular occurrence for visiting heads of state — he essentially walked out on his guest to have dinner in private, telling Netanyahu that he could hang out with White House advisers if he desired — an unprecedented snub.

It’s enough to wonder why the double standard … and provide some “right-wing blog clickbait,” as social media user Eric Geller suggested.

Here’s sampling of responses to the incident from Twitter:


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