Monday, April 20, 2009

Obama and Chavez

Sen. John Ensign was incensed that President Obama actually shook hands and smiled at Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, told CNN Sunday it was “irresponsible” for President Obama to been seen “laughing and joking” with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas on Friday.

“This is a person who is one of the most anti-American leaders in the entire world,” Ensign told CNN’s John King on State of The Union. “He is a brutal dictator and human rights violations are very, very prevalent in Venezuela. And you have to be careful.”

“When you’re talking about the prestige of the United States and the presidency of the United States, you have to be careful who you’re seen joking around with,” he also said.

Please pass the smelling salts.

Aside from the fact that presidents meet other leaders, some of whom are not necessarily the nicest people on the planet (here’s a gallery of a previous president hand-in-hand with some dictators), it looked like Mr. Chavez was the one trying to horn in on getting his picture taken with Mr. Obama; that he was the one who was fawning over him, not the other way around.

What surprises me is that Sen. Ensign and the Republicans don’t see it that way. After all, they’ve spent the last eight years doing so much brown-nosing to a president that you’d think they’d know it when they see it.