President Obama came under fire in some circles for giving an apretón de manos to Cuba's Raul Castro during Nelson Mandela's memorial service.
The reaction lit up Twitter for most of the day with seemingly every political pundit worldwide weighing in on the fateful moment.
When asked why he shook a dictator’s hand, Raul Castro said it seemed like the polite thing to do.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) December 10, 2013
"One’s a communist who’s reduced his country to ruins, the other’s Raul Castro." http://t.co/YuSev1aZEK
— jon gabriel (@exjon) December 10, 2013
— Susan Page (@SusanPage) December 10, 2013
Good that Obama shook hands w/ Raul Castro. Diplomatic opening can bring great benefits fr both Cubans & Americans. http://t.co/AZmiFmZ6St
— Jeffrey D. Sachs (@JeffDSachs) December 10, 2013
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) December 10, 2013
But when questioned about the handshake, the White House denies pre-meditation.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 10, 2013
Bill Clinton shook hands with Fidel in 2000 with no cameras in sight.
House and Senate negotiators reached a tentative deal last night on an $85 billion package to fund the government past Jan. 15.
While Speaker Boehner backs it, and the Pres backs it, lots o’ Republicans were quick to say no thanks.
The bipartisan budget deal was announced at about 6:10p tonight and Rubio put out a release opposing it at 6:33p. #2016GOPprimary?
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) December 10, 2013
Obama issues statement supporting budget deal and 50 Republicans instantaneously oppose it. #whosayspartisanshipisdead
— Matt Laslo (@MattLaslo) December 10, 2013
Oregon’s Peter DeFazio – who faces a potentially tough primary -- isn’t much of a fan either.
The R's forced a weenie #budget deal. This plan won't create jobs, get the economy back on track, or meaningfully cut the deficit.
— Rep Peter DeFazio (@RepPeterDeFazio) December 10, 2013
Weenie? Who says that anymore?
#41 jumped feet first into the social media world. His pal, Karl Rove, trumpeted his arrival.
Join me in welcoming President @GeorgeHWBush to Twitter!
— Karl Rove (@KarlRove) December 10, 2013
The 89 year-old Bush’s tweet extended his regrets for being unable to travel to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. He has had health problems in recent years.
Barbara and I wish we could have joined the U.S. delegation honoring President Mandela today. He, and his countrymen, are in our prayers.
— George Bush (@GeorgeHWBush) December 10, 2013
Within two hours, more than 13,000 tweeters followed his account. Wonder if he wore crazy-colored socks – as he does at many public events -- to type the tweet?
A selfie at a funeral? It’s probably been done. But not by the leader of the free world. And definitely not with the first lady growling at him.
What’s the saying? Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? As Obama chatted and snapped away with 46 year-old Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the First Lady, well, brooded? If looks could kill…
This Obama - Danish PM thing has quickly become a real-time soap opera: pic.twitter.com/bHExijwgeG
— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) December 10, 2013
Maybe it’s just that Mrs. O think selfies are tacky. Or would she just rather her hubby wasn’t playing so nice with his blonde friend? Washington needs to know…
The numbers are in. President Obama has a 38 percent approval rating – the lowest yet. Even Obama campaign architect David Axelrod acknowledges this annus horribilis, calling it a “rough year.”
John Podesta has been called in to help save the day. Was it a good move?
Podesta move good for WH but also good for Podesta, who needs a high profile perch and stopped running CAP two years ago
— maggie haberman (@maggiepolitico) December 10, 2013
Remember, Podesta literally wrote the book on how Obama could use executive power to ignore Congress http://t.co/fVsm4JuFmX
— Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) December 10, 2013
But maybe there’s one unintended winner. Podesta was Clinton’s adviser, right?
John Podesta would never in a million billion years serve as the Clinton's mole in the Obama White House. Never ever.
— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) December 10, 2013
Congressman Jason Chaffitz from Utah, whose Twitter page wallpaper is a series of daredevil skiers, has no qualms making fun of DC for shutting down operations over an inch of snow.
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) December 10, 2013
In DC’s defense, it was supposed to be worse. That is, if you trust those weather guys who seem to struggle a bit to read Mother Nature’s mind.
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Lauren Ashburn joined the network in 2013 and currently serves as a Washington-based contributor for FOX News Channel (FNC). On MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz, Ashburn contributes commentary on the state of the news media shaping current events, their role in politics, cultures, business, and tech. Click here for more information on Lauren Ashburn.